HARARE – Events taking place in Bangladesh, where Zimbabwean cricketers are playing in that country’s domestic league, seem to suggest that where there is money there is a way to perform to one’s potential.
Zimbabwe cricketers playing in the Bangladesh Premier Division have accounted themselves well with all-rounders Elton Chigumbura and Sean Williams leading the locals’ performance chart.
Sikandar Raza Butt and Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor also notched some vital half-centuries so far in the early stages of the league, while Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda are still trying to find their footing in the sub-continent.
The batting all-rounder and left-arm spinner Williams last week recorded his List A career best figures with seven wickets for 27 runs from seven overs in his first game for the Brothers Union.
Williams’ hat trick included wickets of fellow countrymen Vusi Sibanda and Sikandar Raza while Hamilton Masakadza also fell to the left-arm spinner.
Chigumbura came to the party 24 hours later with a blistering 50 runs off the last 2.5 overs of his team’s innings with 39 runs coming off the last over.
Alauddin Babu of Bangladesh conceded five runs off a no ball from his first ball and what followed was a body blow comprising of a wide, 6-4-6-4-6, wide and a six as the former Zimbabwe skipper finished unbeaten on 69 runs off 54 balls with four fours and five sixes.
The young Bangladesh player broke the record of most runs conceded in a List A match that was previously held by Dan van Bunge of Netherlands, who conceded six maximums to former South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs at the 2007 World Cup.
Zimbabwe assistant coach Steve Mangongo said while he was delighted with the players’ showing in Bangladesh, he was worried with the players struggle in international cricket.
“We have come of age but the worrisome thing is that they never do that at international level,” Mangongo told the Daily News on Tuesday.
“We shouldn’t be fooled because club cricket is very different from international level. However, we are glad that at least they are getting experience in different conditions now that our league has not yet started.”
In Bangladesh, the Zimbabwean players are getting an average of $1500 per match depending on each individual’s contract, a sharp contrast from home where the players earn pittance.
The new domestic season is yet to kick off. Authorities have remained mum on the dates. Players who spoke to the Daily News on condition of anonymity took a swipe at ZC for awarding themselves hefty packages while the players wallow in poverty.