Our goal is to win: Cremer

HARARE - Fed up with the ill-treatment of players by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), leg-spinner Graeme Cremer, three years ago, cut short a promising career as he packed his bags to pursue a career in golf.

It was a blow to the country that has long been hit by talent drain with a lot of players opting for opportunities in far places like the United Kingdom.

However, for Cremer it was not an option to go that route as he wanted to be close to his wife Merna,  a pilot with Air Zimbabwe, hence the stint on the Zambezi Tour.

But little did the 30-year-old Mid West Rhinos skipper know that he would soon find himself back into the national fold with even greater recognition than he was when he temporarily quit in 2013.

The Daily News’ Austin Karonga caught up with Cremer, who is now Zimbabwe’s captain across all three formats, to discuss about his new lease of life.

Below are excerpts from the interview.

Q: 2016 came with a change of fortune for you, how best can you describe the year?

A: It’s been an awesome year for me personally, I was so happy to receive the captaincy and I feel it has given me more responsibility which has transferred into my performance.

Q: Is it something that you have always thought of doing — captaining the side and how have you dealt with this responsibility on the field in the few games so far?

A: I did not think the time would ever come; I’m so pleased it did though. I have not tried to copy anyone, I’m still the same person who is easy to talk to and the guys know they can trust me with anything. I want the guys to be able to come to me about anything at any time.

Q: There’s has been some near misses in most of the games that we played this year, encouraging stuff from the guys in your view?

A: We were competitive this year, but that is not our goal, we want to win games as a team and I just think we need more cricket, both our A side and national team.

Q: That unbeaten maiden Test 100 (102*) against Sri Lanka that helped Zimbabwe avoid the follow on after coming in to bat at number 8 when the team had slumped 139/6 in the morning on day three of the first Test at Harare Sports Club.

A: The feeling was amazing but actually more relief than anything once I got there. I was so happy to do it when the team was in trouble as well, that was the most important thing for me.

Q: You carried on with the form into the second Test, against West Indies and the abandoned First Class match pitting Mid West Rhinos and Matabeleland Tuskers. How much effort are you putting into this department?

A: Ya a lot of work, more mentally than anything, I think really hard on how I want to construct and go about an innings as well as keeping it as simple as possible.

Q: The fans have been fantastic backing the team all the way but at times demonstrated their anger over the team’s struggles on the field, any word to the multitude of Zimbabwe Cricket followers?

A: I have always admired our fans, they will always turn up and support us and I know it’s difficult for them sometimes especially because the team’s performances are a bit erratic sometimes. The team has a lot of time for our supporters and we really appreciate them coming out game after game.

Q: Former captain Tatenda Taibu called it quits earlier on how much of a blow was it to the team?

A: He was always a great guy to be around, a lot of knowledge about the game and was definitely a shock when we heard of his retirement. He also hung up the boots before his time.

Q: And just as you returned after your three-year sabbatical, team captain and your close friend Brendan Taylor also announced his resignation opting for a Kolpak Deal in England with County side Nottinghamshire after an impressive World Cup campaign where he was Zimbabwe’s leading scorer with 433 runs. How did you receive the news?

A: It was a big shock to everyone, but we will support his decision. It’s sad we lost such a great cricketer and a very close friend of mine, we hope he will come back in the future, but for now there are some big shoes to fill whoever takes his spot in the team.

Q: Heath Streak’s appointment to lead the technical department?

A: I feel like having Streak on board is a huge step in the right direction... His appointment is the best decision they have made, he is a very experienced coach and he knows the system here in Zimbabwe. The guys are very happy he knows all the guys.

Q: Streak’s combination with convenor of selectors Taibu?

A:  A good head coach and a good convenor is very important they know each other well and played together for many years they have been introducing new younger players into the team and started building a new team together.

We have guys coming up which they have recognised and I’m sure they will work with them to make a better and more competitive side.

Q: The target given to Streak by ZC to ensure that Zimbabwe gets to play at the 2019 World Cup, is it feasible?

A: I think this can be achievable but we need to be playing more cricket. We need more games to get more points to move up and the ranking, we hope more games can be organised by ZC, the only way forward I think.

Comments (2)

Tynoe - 31 December 2016

We really need to see our guys getting more games so that they will gain confidence & experience......however the more games they get the more points they will be obtaining. I personally would love to see our guys having more of these 3 formatic games in 2017

Tynoe - 31 December 2016

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