Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell has announced that international cricket could become extinct in the country in two years’ time unless drastic action is taken right away.
Campbell is also infuriated at the fact that Zimbabwe Cricket are turning a blind eye to the lack of ex-players in the current set-up.
“Without any attention being paid, we can become like Kenya and cricket will be dead in Zimbabwe,” he told the Dhaka-based daily Prothom Alo. “I am fearful that in the next two years if there is no intervention, very quickly they will be lost to international cricket. No one wants to see that.
“Douglas Hondo is the only player to play Test cricket in the whole set-up. Among the selectors too, no one has played Test match cricket. I worry that there is not enough expertise in the game. The business of cricket requires cricketers to be involved, but that’s not happening in Zimbabwe.
“When a batsman here is struggling against spin there’s nobody there who can talk from personal experience. Say someone like Grant Flower, he would have said guys this is how you play left-arm spin. ‘If we play like this we will get knocked over, if we play like that we have half a chance’.
“I don’t think our youngsters here are getting the requisite expertise required. As a player I would listen to someone who has been there, done that. I just hope a lot of the ex-players can be re-engaged by Zimbabwe Cricket. I tried to do that when I was in the cricket committee.”
Campbell also stated that Zimbabwe Cricket should have done everything in their power to acquire the services of Flower instead of letting him become Pakistan’s batting coach.
“He [Grant Flower] is their [Pakistan’s] gain, and our [Zimbabwe’s] loss,” Campbell said. “Unfortunately, you don’t know what you lost till it is gone. I think that’s what Zimbabwe will wake up to in the coming months. In a nation like ours which is always struggling to compete and remain relevant, you have to tap into every single resource.”
Campbell added that Zimbabwe should have included batsman Sean Williams in their squad for the ongoing tour of Bangladesh despite his dispute with head coach Stephen Mangongo.
“Sean Williams obviously needs to sort out things with the coach,” he said. “In a country with meagre resources, you need everyone to get along. Banning him from playing on such a crucial tour with the whole world watching, you have to make sure you have the best side. I just think you need all your best available players.
“I think Sean [Williams] plays well against spin and bowls good left-arm spin. Part of your job as a coach is man-management. [Mario] Balotelli can play football because he doesn’t get banned and they try and work with him. I don’t know what Sean [Williams] has done. I have to get to the bottom of it. But he didn’t commit murder, but he has breached team protocol. We haven’t got an abundance of players to throw guys by the wayside. Sean [Williams] is arguably our second best batsman and not having him here is crazy.”