Butcher's book nominated for award

HARARE - Ex-Zimbabwe cricket coach Alan Butcher’s book The Good Murungu: A Cricket Tale of the Unexpected has been shortlisted for the 2017 Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year Award.

Butcher coached Zimbabwe from February 2010 to the end of March 2013 and the book is based on that period.

The 63-year-old former England batsman is now in line to win the $3 000 prize money and a certificate should his book be selected as the winner during a banquet scheduled for Lord’s Cricket Ground on April 19.

Butcher is one of the two former England cricketers included on the six-man shortlist alongside Graeme Fowler, who penned the book Absolutely foxed.

The other shortlisted names include Gideon Haigh (Stroke of Genius), Richard Heller and Peter Oborne (White on Green), Emma John’s (A Memoir of Teenage Obsession and Terrible Cricket) and Mark Nicholas’ A Beatiful Game, My love affair with cricket.

“There’s some good writing here. All six books reflect passion for knowledge about their subject matter. I look forward to lively discussion at the judges’ final meeting; there is no doubt we will come up with a worthy winner,” Vic Marks chairperson of judges said.

In his book Butcher talks of power struggles Zimbabwe Cricket hurting the development of the game.

“As I have stated in my book, there’s too much distrust of each other’s agendas; too many power games. Not enough people with solely the interests of Zimbabwe cricket at heart. Obviously they’re issues about lack of finance ... but if there was trust between everybody that could still be overcome I think,” Butcher told the Daily News in an earlier interview.

Elaborating his point on the issue of distrust of agendas, Butcher said: “Unfortunately it kind of divides up on racial lines, there’s still no getting away from it,” he said.

“The Whites think the black administration is corrupt or incompetent or both. The Blacks think the whites have a ‘take over’ agenda ... a residue of colonisation if you like. I think this is a minority but as you will know it only takes a loud few to stir things the wrong way... and for the silent majority to do nothing.”

Butcher also urged the authorities at ZC to investment in grassroots development.

“As far as development is concerned its time hard work and some investment be put in this area. When I was in the job for about a year I said it might take 10 years for Zim to really become competitive,” he said.

“... But that was dependent on good management from the top, keeping the nucleus of the squad together and people showing patience and consistency. None of those things has happened and so we’re back at the start again.”

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