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Monday, 28 December 2009

A-Z of Zimbabwe Cricket 2009: Part 4 [J-L]

J - Jarvis Junior Jumps in from Nowhere!

Kyle Jarvis, son of former Zimbabwe player Malcolm Jarvis, was picked out of nowhere to represent Zimbabwe in their home series against Kenya. In what is believed to be a masterstroke by the newly appointed bowling coach, the legendary all-rounder Heath Streak, Jarvis was first made to play the 4-day intercontinental cup match for Zimbabwe XI agianst the Kenyans, and was straightaway pushed into the playing eleven for the first ODI. He neither had First Class experience before playing in the Intercontinental Cup match, nor the List A experience before playing in the ODI against Kenya, but did admirably well in his first outing, getting 3/36 in his 7 overs.

Jarvis has since played a total of 9 ODIs including those against the mighty South Africans, and has taken 10 wickets so far. He is seen as the future of the Zimbabwe pace battery, and probably that drove the board to fast track him on to the national scene, to avoid losing him to South Africa, where he was based. Watching him bowl in the South African series, even the likes of Kepler Wessels and Allan Donald expressed hope for the future. One can only eagerly look forward to watching Kyle Jarvis develop under the guidance of Streak and Co.

K - Kenya Marauded - Not Once, But Twice

Zimbabwe got to play their next-door-neighbours Kenya twice this year, a 5 match ODI series on both occasions, and made full use of these to underline their supremacy over the associates. While they marauded Kenya in their own den 5-0 at the beginning of the year, the return leg at home was equally brutal, if we ignore the one slip-up that led to a 4-1 score line.

In Kenya, Chigumbura struck them as lightening, hitting sixes at will, with able support from rookie wicket keeper batsman Forster Mutizwa, who was equally destructive on most occasions. In the Zimbabwe leg, where a 3 match series got extended to a 5 match one, Hamilton Masakadza came up with those world record breaking batting performances. Throughout, spinners excelled too, exploiting and exposing the inability of the Kenyan batsmen in facing quality spinners. Although these performances underlined Zimbabwe's supremacy over Kenya and the progress that is being made, it also exposed how low Kenya have fallen since their impressive run in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

L- Lock Locked Out

Former Zimbabwe leg spinner Alan Charles Ingram "Charlie" Lock had once terrorized New Zealand batsmen by producing a deadly spell of 5/5 in a span of 11 deliveries to win an ODI for his national team, but he has had turbulent time in the last couple of years, due to the political situation in the country. Lock, who turned professional agronomist after retiring from the sport, had his farm taken away from him from President Mugabe's men, thus locking him out of his own farm and produce, despite conforming to the redistribution regulations. It is a painful story, but Lock wants to fight it out till his last breath.

Here is a CNN report from earlier this year on the situation of Lock and others:

Only hope here is to wish him the very best in his struggle for survival.


Conant said...

Wonderful work Prasanna. I never have believed you were Indian, seeing how much you know about Zim Cricket, until I saw your picture

Prasanna said...

Thanks Conant :). It has always been a pleasure to read about / write about / watch / follow Zimbabwean Cricket, and there are only a few of us hardcore fans around...