It's a plot against Makoni, says Makovah

HARARE - Bruce Makovah, the former Zimbabwe Cricket selectors’ chairperson, has spoken out against Sports minister David Coltart’s selection criterion directive, which has sparked an ugly race row in local cricket circles.

Makovah, a former first-class player who headed Zimbabwe’s selection panel six years ago, said Coltart’s directive fails to address technical aspects of the game in its entirety and appear a scheme to get rid of current convenor Givemore Makoni.

 “To be honest, I think it’s targeted at Makoni,” said Makovah. “I think he is looking at an individual; this is where I have a problem with it.

“I played first-class cricket and when I was a selector, I had problems with former Test players, and that is why I resigned.

“If it was a general issue addressing all facets of the game, from selection, coaching, administration, board members, then I would say it is not targeting an individual.

“You need to synchronise all these things. From a minister’s point of view, that would have been a noble move.

“Those two anyway always had differences. It’s not the first time Coltart has targeted Makoni.”

Masvingo-born Makovah comes from a generation of black Zimbabwean cricketers of the late 1980s and early 90s.

He holds the distinction of being the first black player to score a club cricket century in Zimbabwe while turning out for the pioneer black club Byonics against Old Georgians in 1990.

“When I scored that hundred against OGs I felt my time had come,” Makovah said.

“That OGs side had eight national team players, while we had none.”

Alongside wicketkeeper Blessing “Duj” Ngondo, the two budding cricketers graduated from the Mashonaland Under-24 side into the senior provincial side and Zimbabwe A, becoming the first players of colour to play first-class for a prolonged time but then finding it very hard, as young black players at that time, to break into the national side.

Now 43 and a recognised businessman in his hometown of Masvingo, Makovah believes Makoni is sufficiently equipped to be a national selector.

“Makoni played cricket, though not at a high level as demanded by the minister.

“The minister might be right, but then you need to synchronise things to achieve the greater goal in our cricket.

“You can’t address selection alone, that is why we are always on the losing side.

“Take for example the (visually impaired) commentator (Dean du Plessis), he never played, but does anyone doubt his knowledge of the game?”

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