An idea whose time had come

HARARE - When Tatenda Taibu famously gathered local and foreign press on the eve of Zimbabwe’s Test comeback two-and-half years ago after courageously deciding he would let the world know that all was not well behind the façade of the hype surrounding the historic occasion, his teammate, Raymond Price, sneaked behind the reporters’ back and pointed at the little man addressing the hastily-arranged media conference: “He’s the only m-a-a-n in the team, we’re all cowards!”

Ever the showman, Price then tip-toed away as he had arrived announced, wide grin stretching across his face.

The scribes produced hearty chuckles, and none of Price’s witty remarks found themselves in their copy, all appreciating a bit of good background as well as the informal relaying of an otherwise very important message.

Taibu, not one to pull punches, had anyway dished enough, out of the blue really, for the reporters to file back to their newspapers and agencies a juicy sideshow to what would be a tantalising contest between the hosts and old foes Bangladesh.

Even by their own limited foresight, I doubt if the Zimbabwe Cricket officials would have imagined the cowards, in Price’s words, growing up so fast to become real men, capable of saying enough is enough, as the players have done in the last two to three months.

These players have been mistreated and lied to for too long, and even if ZC had pleaded with them not to boycott the start of the domestic Twenty20 competition on Monday and promise payment the following day, they would have simply said “no, sorry, let’s talk tomorrow. We won’t play.”

There comes a time in life, folks, when you reach a point of no return, and that is the point the cricketers found themselves in the last two months – when there can be no turning back. 

Ray Price was probably harsh on himself and his dormant cricketers; the relationship between ZC and the players has been like one between schoolmaster and pupil, not professional to professional, so the players have had to just submit and take instructions.

Now that some payment has been made and some kind of common ground found, the players must continue to demand better treatment until the Promised Land is reached.   

ZC itself has learnt valuable lessons. Well, hopefully.

Both parties must use this very unfortunate phase to find each other and forge a relationship of greater trust and respect.

Feedback: sports@dailynews.co.zw.

Comments (1)

Let them better stick to their guns because we`re sick and tired of administrators who ruin what we Zimbos cherish in this country, sport, especially those at ZC and Zifa.

Rayaz - 15 February 2014

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