cricket, zimbabwe

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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Are you happy with Zimbabwe's progress on the international circuit?

We have done a reasonably good job. We have developed our cricket from very limited resources and you must know that Zimbabwe is a small nation and we always has had small group of players. Further, we also lost a few good players.

Zimbabwean cricket is picking up. The game has become more globalised because of television network and sponsorship is coming into our cricket. I am pretty sure that the future is safe and bright for Zimbabwe cricket.

Any comments on the fact that victories like a win over Pakistan in Pakistan is not happening too often for Zimbabwe.

We did have a couple of Tests, which we should have won, but because of inexperience we failed to achieve that. If you look at other Test playing nations and their beginning, then I think Zimbabwe ever since they became a Test nation have improved by leaps and bounds.

Do you subscribe to the view that except for a few players, the rest don't have the right temperament for the big game like Test cricket?

It is more a case of not playing enough first-class or Test cricket. I can tell you that the Zimbabwe Cricket Union are doing a fine job and the Academy is also a big success. Our 'B' team is also now playing a lot of cricket and right now they are playing in South Africa.

The basic thing is that we need to have more players who can be available for selection and that's on merit of course. It is very important that more and more youngsters take up this game. May be in a short time we will have quite a few players around and that will help us to build our side better.

You are one of the senior most cricketers of the team, what areas do you think need to improve soon in Zimbabwe cricket?

We need a good domestic cricket set up. We will be able to play to our full potential only when we have good number of matches at home. You can only become a better player by playing more matches.

Were you prepared for the job of captaincy when your name was announced?

To be very frank and honest, it came as a surprise for me. I know it is a honour for me to lead my country in Test and in the One-day matches. It is a challenge and I hope I would be able to develop the side into a more consistent performer especially in the highest form of cricket. I also hope that I can make this side as one of the top teams before the 2003 World Cup.

Did the pressure of captaincy affect your bowling?

The job of a captain is a learning process and at this stage I am trying to strike a balance between my role as a leading strike bowler, a bit of an all-rounder and that of a captain. I'm trying to the best I can to my team.

The choice of a Carl Rackemann must be welcome amongst the bowlers, any comments?

He has been involved with us for quite sometime now as a bowling coach. He is quite capable, experienced and played for the best side in the world. I think it is a pretty good move to have him as our coach and indeed it is a blessing in disguise for our bowlers.

Has Travis Friend been impressive so far?

He has got a lot of talent and genuine pace. On this tour he can develop and may be come out as the leading strike bowler for us.

Any plans to tackle the top three Indian batsmen - Sachin, Rahul and Saurav - in the Test series as Travis Friend had done in Sharjah?

He bowls like that normally. He gets the bounce from a length and was hitting the seam that yielded some success against India's top batsmen at Sharjah. I hope with the extra bounce and pace he can surprise a few Indian batsmen.

It must be a great loss to miss the services of Murray Goodwin and Neil Johnson?

It was a big blow, but somehow we have picked up a couple of youngsters in Douglas Marillier, Travis Friend and Trevor Madonda. All these boys are highly talented and given a fair opportunity they may become players of good class in a couple of years.

Any unfulfilled ambition?

Oh, lot many. Obviously, I would like to be part of a more consistent team especially in Tests. I would like to see Zimbabwe in the final of the World Cup and winning it. Lot many dreams are there but I don't care much about my personal achievement. I think if I can do the best for my country and later on reflect on it, that's more important.

For how long would you like to play international cricket?

As long as my body permits. I am 26 now and if all goes well, I would like to play for six or seven years more.

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