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‘IT’S GONNA BE A GOOD YEAR’

2016 was quite a busy year for Zimbabwe Cricket and it is difficult for me to sum it up in one word or phrase.

There was a lot of cricket played, with the age-group teams, women and the senior national team all in action throughout the year.

The Under-17 toured Malaysia and Namibia, the women started their preparations for the ICC Women World Cup qualifiers with a tour to South Africa.

On the other hand the Chevrons played New Zealand, India, took part in the T20 World Cup and were involved in the tri-series against Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

However, if you compare this with the rest of our Test playing counterparts then that is nothing to write home about.

There were so many gaps, in between these games, and it is an area we hope to address this year.

That said, we had more games, last year, than we have had in previous years and the trick is to improve on that. This year, we have a similar situation with only Sri Lanka and West Indies confirmed.

However, we have already started addressing that anomaly with the Afghanistan tours, for both the A side and the senior national team.

As far as results go, we had the Tri-series final as the only high point of the year and that is not good enough.

We have a new coach now in Heath Streak and he appears he have a different way of doing business. We have assured him of our full support.

Last year was also not a very good year, from an administrative point of view. Zimbabwe Cricket has been going through, and will continue to go through, a restructuring process.

There were anomalies, most of which I cannot go into in detail, which affected our operations.

What I can divulge, though, is that there was no foul play in financials as far as our audit reports go, and we have since remitted the required documentation to both the Sports and Recreation Commission and ICC.

The biggest affected area of the restructuring exercise I alluded to earlier has to do with funding.

We now have a new system of how we receive and disburse our funds and the biggest casualty of this change was our domestic cricket.

We would have loved to start our domestic cricket last November, or even earlier, but due to the fact that contracts are now dealt with at provincial level we were forced to delay, and postpone, the start of the season a couple of times.

Provinces had to first finalise their contract negotiations before the money could to be disbursed to the provinces.

Fortunately, as far as these issues go we have ironed out everything and now we can look to 2017 with optimism.

The key things to know about our operations, this year, is that everything we do from this point onwards will be directed towards our preparations for next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers.

An action plan has been put in place, with the view of preparing our national teams for the World Cups or World Cup qualifiers.

There will also be a bias towards One-Day-Internationals, as the qualifiers and the World Cup itself, in 2019, are our main priority.

We held crunch talks with Cricket South Africa, last weekend, and hope to improve relations between our two nations. The aim of this renewed relationship with CSA is to learn as much as we can from our South African counterparts.

To learn both from a governance point of view and also from a playing perspective, and hopefully improve the way we play the game and govern the sport.

This year should be a good one for us.

Zimbabwe Cricket chair Tavengwa Mukuhlani was speaking to The Sunday Mail Sport’s Tinashe Kusema over the phone on January 25, 2017

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