State of Zimbabwe Cricket Once a melting mess of political interference, player protests and cricketing failure, Zimbabwe is on the road to redemption. A new cricket committee was formed in July last year, headed by former national captain Alastair Campbell, who has since been made the convener of selectors.

The Campbell era has seen the appointment of a new coach, Alan Butcher, and specialist batting and bowling coaches from the old guard in Grant Flower and Heath Streak. The return to the fold of these former stars, who were at the vanguard of a player walk-out in 2004, is a sign that things are changing.
In the past 10 months, Zimbabwe have played 26 one-day internationals and won 10. Their most significant achievement was reaching the final of a Tri-Series involving India and Sri Lanka in June. It was the first time in 10 years that Zimbabwe had reached the final of a competition involving only Test-playing nations. A blend of youth and experience makes up the current crop of Zimbabwean players. Veterans such as Andy Blignaut, Greg Lamb and Ray Price lend the value of their years in the game to the fresh faces and new talent.

Zimbabwe’s strength lies in these younger players, who were fast-tracked onto the international stage in the crisis years and are now familiar with playing at the highest level. Elton Chigumbura, Prosper Utseya and Brendon Taylor have each played more than 100 ODIs, but they are all still under 30.

The country’s one-day future looks bright and the introduction of a domestic 20-over competition in February has added to the revival of cricket in Zimbabwe. Next on the agenda is a return to the Test arena, which is planned for next year.
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