Timoni makes history

HARARE - Mashonaland Eagles rookie Ronald Timoni became the first son of a black cricket coach to play List A cricket when he made his debut at Harare Sports Club last month.

The 20-year-old off-spinner who can also bat, was picked in the squad for Eagles’ last Pro 50 match, a semi-final encounter that saw the Harare franchise to Matabeleland Tuskers by eight runs.

Ronald is the son of former Mashonaland Eagles caretaker coach, Stanley Timoni, who took over at the franchise following the death of Kevin Curran.

In the match, Timoni Jnr took two wickets for 32 runs from seven overs and was unbeaten on 13 runs from 35 balls batting at number 10, featuring in a 12-over 35-run partnership with last man Tafadzwa Muzarawetu.

“It was a dream come,” Ronald told the Daily News.

“My coach, Steve Mangongo, told me to go in there and enjoy the game and everything seemed to have worked well for me that but the major disappointment was that we narrowly lost the match and in the process missed the finals.”

The Harare Sports Club player said working with his father, who is also the HSC coach, was not an easy task.

“I dedicate my debut to my father because he always told me that I was an average player but deep down I knew he was running away from reality,” added Ronald.

“I was determined to prove him wrong and all the hard work eventually paid off and I know he was the happiest man in the world on the day. Working under him is the most difficult thing that I have experienced. I’m now looking at him as only my coach on the field. I would like to maintain my standards, play for the national team and hope that IPL comes calling at some stage in my career.”

Timoni Snr, an assistant in the operations department at Zimbabwe Cricket, was overwhelmed with joy on the day his son made his debut.

“The feeling was just great. I was happy for him and as a father I was so ecstatic and couldn’t hold back my tears when I heard that Ronald was playing that day and only God knows his future,” he said the former Takashinga Cricket Club player.

“Truly speaking I wasn’t pushing him 100% because as a father and coach it’s not easy to coach your son. This is because whenever I tried to coach him, I would just lose it when he makes any slight mistake but I’m happy for him at Mash Eagles.  He has good coaches in Steve Mangongo and Mufaro Chituramani.”

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