We wait with bated breath

HARARE - The last year or so has been an emotional roller coaster ride for the Zimbabwean national cricket team.

There have been a few moments that will never be forgotten, such as the impressive way Zimbabwe bounced back to win the ODI series against Bangladesh in May this year, and more importantly, the unbelievable performance in the second Test against Pakistan which saw the home side record their first win against a major Test playing nation since the four-wicket win against India way back in 2001.

But, in truth, the roller coaster Zimbabwe currently find themselves on is on a downward spiral, thanks to the appalling situation the countries governing body find themselves in.

The domestic season finally got underway after numerous delays due to lack of finances, and to make matters worse, the tournament has suffered another worrying setback with the loss of key players who have decided to pursue careers away from the cricket pitch.

Graeme Cremer, Charles Coventry and Stuart Matsikenyeri, to name a few, have all opted out of their franchises, while Craig Ervine has now decided to play his cricket in Ireland in the winter, and then play club cricket in Australia in our season.

The Tuskers will also miss the services of the vastly experienced all-rounder Sean Ervine, who recently concluded a stint in Bangladesh playing in the DPL.

It is however unclear as to what the former national team all-rounder will be doing now.

Kyle Jarvis caused mixed emotions when he decided to accept a contract with English county side Lancashire.

The emotions are mixed, because Zimbabweans would have been devastated to have lost yet another key player, thanks to the situation Zimbabwe cricket are in but happy to know that a Zimbabwean has been recognized for his achievements.

But the sad truth of the matter is that the mass exodus of players has now more than likely weakened the standard of an already waning competition.

There isn't a lot that one can say about the upcoming season, only that one can only hope that the remainder of the senior players will stay in the country for as long as humanly possible, and assist the younger players to the best of their ability.

But, the real hope is that somehow Zimbabwe cricket will be able to find finances to not only keep the current crop of senior players here, but to try and convince the players who have left to come back again, as well as maintain the grounds at all levels.

Given the state the sport is in, however, it would seem highly unlikely that any of the hopes will become reality.

*On its return to our pages, this column will be published every Thursdays beginning today.

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