Chevrons: Zim’s most popular brand in India?
By Dakarai Mashava
For many Indians, Zimbabwe is synonymous with its senior national cricket team despite the fact that the Chevrons are currently ranked last among the world’s 10 test-playing nations.
A random survey at the just-ended Surajkund International Crafts Mela, an international traditional handicrafts, folk music, dance and food expo which takes place annually in the Indian district of Faridabad, shows that the mere mention of Zimbabwe does not bring to mind the majestic Victoria Falls, game parks teeming with diverse wildlife species and impressive mineral reserves but our struggling chevrons.
Cricket is almost a religion in the populous South Asian country whose population is over 1, 3 billion people. Not surprisingly, cricket-mad India currently tops the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Match Team Rankings.
Cricket players whose names have been routinely mentioned include former Zimbabwean captains Brendan Taylor and Tatenda Taibu, batsman and left-arm spinner Sean Williams, former captain Elton Chigumbura as well as former Zimbabwean cricketer Henry Olonga who made history 16 years ago alongside Andy Flower when the duo donned black arm bands in a world cup match against Namibia.
One Rajeev Singh, while bemoaning the downward slide Zimbabwean cricket is taking, claimed, rather charitably, that he would always support the Chevrons as long as they are not playing against India.
“I am very fond of the Zimbabwe cricket team in particular the hard-hitting Sean Williams and Elton Chigumbura… Brendan Taylor too. Sadly the Zimbabwean cricket team is performing badly at the moment,” Singh told the Daily News.
For Riya Sujatha, the mere mention of Zimbabwe brings to mind former Zimbabwean cricket captain Taibu.
“Taibu was a quality batsman and captain. When he was playing for Zimbabwe the team was much much better than it is now. I don’t know what has gone wrong but the Zimbabwean cricket team has lost bite; they have lost the competitive edge.
“A few years back the team was very unpredictable and could sometimes beat the top cricket nations.
“But now the team has been leapfrogged by Bangladesh and will find it hard to beat even lowly Afghanistan,” said Sujatha.
The Zimbabwe Cricket Board recently reappointed Hamilton Masakadza as the captain of the Chevrons across all three formats for the upcoming season and the 2019 World Cup as part of efforts to revive the country’s flagging fortunes.
Interestingly, Masakadza, who has been victorious just once on the 20 occasions he has captained Zimbabwe, will be deputised by rising batsman Peter Moor. DailyNews