THE curtain finally came down on Zimbabwe fringe bowler Trevor Garwe’s cricket career spanning over a decade-and-a-half last weekend with a mixed bag of emotions for the 33-year-old cricketer, who horned his skills in Harare’s High Density suburb of Glen View.
Players formed a guard of honour with bats forming the roof as Garwe walked through for his finally hurray when his franchise Eagles took on hosts Mountaineers in a Logan Cup match at Harare Sports Club in honour of the retiring servant of the game.
A vicious seamer gifted with the ability to bowl at death with sheer accuracy and relative easy, Garwe made his List A debut in a 2004 Faithwear Clothing Inter-Provincial One-Day competition where Mashonaland now Eagles took on Namibia.
He made an instant impact taking two wickets albeit in a 101-run rout by the Namibian national team.
Some of Garwe’s teammates on that day were the likes of former Test captains Tatenda Taibu, who was the Mashonaland skipper, Brendan Taylor and Graeme Cremer as well as Bryan Strang.
The current Zimbabwe ODI captain Chamu Chibhabha and Barney Rogers were also part of that Mashonaland team. Garwe went on to play a total of 102 First Class matches, 85 List A games and 38 T20s.
“It was emotional thinking; I’m leaving something that I have done all my life and also the respect the guys showed me was more than a tribute for me,” Garwe told the Daily News on Sunday on his emotional send-off.
He said it was not by accident that he decided to call it quits and take up new challenges as he had given it a long and thorough thought.
“I started thinking about it (retiring) end of last season and before my first game this season, I made up my mind that I will retire this year. It was not easy to come to this decision but I think this is the right time to move on,” he said.
“I thank God for the career that I have had, the only regret is I should have played Test matches for my country but it was by God’s design so I am forever grateful for the playing opportunity that I had in various other formats that I was chosen to play in.”
A former football goalkeeper at Glen View 2 Primary School, Garwe’s career in cricket was by accident.
“I used to play football and then I started watching cricket on TV with my brother Wilson, this was during the 1999 Cricket World Cup which was primarily hosted by England with some games played across Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands which was won by Australia,” Garwe said.
“Spending much time glued on the screen watching players like Glenn McGrath, Damien Fleming, Paul Reiffel and Tom Moody lining up for Australia in the final against Pakistan’s gods of pace Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood, I was motivated to try and run hard into the batsmen, so I took up the sport and I didn’t disappoint.”
His national team breakthrough came in 2009 when he was handed his ODI debut against Kenya at Harare Sports Club.
Garwe claimed the wicket of opener Alex Obanda in Zimbabwe’s 142-run victory.
“The main one (achievement) is representing Zimbabwe and just to be able to do that from Glen View was a huge plus because I opened the doors for my brothers from the community,” he said.
He had a couple of names to thank for his shaping his career.
“Gracious Mazhande was my first coach at high school, the late development coach from Glen View Giveus Majinjiwa was one of my coaches, who helped me even when I was not playing for Zimbabwe A and also my brother Wilson played a big role,” Garwe said.
“When I went to Takashinga, (Steve) Mangongo and (Givemore) Makoni really helped me to become a professional cricketer and also not forgetting all the coaches I have worked with throughout my career.”
Garwe also had kind words for former England cricketer and current Three Lions head coach Chris Silverwood.
“A big thank you to Chris for helping me improve in 2009, he made me believe in myself again after I was dropped from the national team and also helped me to work on my action because it was pretty much all over the place those days,” he said.
After finally calling time on his career, Garwe is not moving away from the game as he now steps into his new role as Zimbabwe women’s cricket team bowling coach.
Although the appointment is yet to be made official, Garwe is looking forward to his new role with the Lady Chevrons.
“I am prepared for all the challenges as a coach and I’m really happy to be giving back what I have learned over the years and develop our beautiful game. I hope my knowledge will help a few players to achieve what I could not achieve as a player,” he said.
Garwe and his wife Chiedza Madzivadondo have been blessed with two girls Anopaishe (8) and Anesuishe (3) which makes him comfortable working with the Lady Chevrons.
“I’m enjoying it (coaching) because it has always been my wish to give back what I have learnt over the years. We have talented players in the squad,”he said.
Lady Chevrons head coach Adam Chifo said having Garwe as part of the technical team will be vital as the team hopes to move forward.
“He will be of huge benefit to the team as he brings along with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in the bowling department. The ladies will definitely learn a lot from him and I expect a lot of improvement in our bowling,” Chifo said.
“He will focus on the bowlers and it will give me more time to give our batters attention with Sneeze (Snikiwe Mpofu).”