Jarvis departure triggers mixed feelings

HARARE – Zimbabwean cricket fans have reacted with disappointment and sadness over the premature retirement of pace spearhead Kyle Jarvis from international cricket.

The 24-year-old  right-armer announced on Sunday he was quitting the Zimbabwe national side to take up a three-year contract with English county side Lancashire.

Jarvis admitted that his decision to leave was also driven by a recent pay dispute between ZC and players.

National team players have not been paid their match fees since touring the West Indies in February, forcing the players to boycott training last week ahead of Pakistan’s tour here next week.

In just eight Tests and 24 ODIs, Jarvis had already taken on the mantle of Zimbabwe's chief strike bowler, leading the team’s attack since the country returned to the Test arena in 2011.

Fans took to social networks to express their outrage over the continued exodus of key players.

Brmtaylor.com admin wrote on the zimcricketforums.com: “I'm lost for words. This is such a crushing development. Obviously it's great for Jarvis' development, but I can't help but feel we might have lost him for good now. The timing, just before a Test series, is not good.”

Crimson Avenger added on the same forum: “Been away for a week, and to come back to so much of happenings, squad announcements, strikes, player union and now big blows like these. Horrific! How can we even compete.”

Zim fan 1 had a different view, saying: “Oh we'll we will move on, let’s face it players from European descent will always have more opportunities and options available to them than black Zimbabweans and I can't really blame them from taking it.

“Career is short and as one of the unnamed players mentioned, what's the point of playing international cricket for 10 years if you have nothing to show for it at the end.”

More comments poured in on leading cricket website, cricinfo.com.

MeijiMura posted:  “Yet another player that Zimbabwe can ill-afford to lose, and not just any player but their one true world-class strike bowler. There has been a lot of unfounded criticism directed at Jarvis during his time with Zimbabwe and also in the user posts on this site.

“Jarvis is a line and length bowler who is always at the batsmen and given more helpful conditions both off the pitch and from overhead conditions and backed up by a competent fielding outfit, he will do very very well in English conditions, particularly in the months of April, May and June when conditions are at their most helpful for the seamers.

“Jarvis had more catches dropped off his bowling than any other bowler I have ever seen in international cricket. All the attention was on him overstepping the mark when he had Dhawan dismissed in the 2nd ODI.

“It should have equally been on Taylor for dropping a chance soon after that was the simplest catch a keeper will ever get and he also made three ducks, yet no-one criticised him!”

Jlw74 wrote:  “Quite sad to read this to be honest. Watched him closely during the series against West Indies and he was the standout quick on either side during the two tests.

"At 24 I thought he was a player that Zim could build an attack around. Now he's off to play county cricket and join the T20 circus. A sad day for Zim cricket it says a lot about the sad state and decline of the game in the country.”

A Pakistan fan, zarasochozarasamjho, added: “This is a continuing shame for Zimbabwe, the nation as a whole. I am a Pakistan supporter but my heart goes out to people like Jarvis who have to make such decisions after having suffered at the hands of their national authorities for such a long time.

“Zimbabwe can ill afford it. For any person, job security comes first and foremost. My best wishes are with the Jarvises of this world.”