WE BELIEVE AGAIN!… Zimbos fall in love with cricket again thanks to the Chevrons

The chronicle

Simba Jemwa, sports reporter
For years, Zimbabweans have been denied any applause from national sports teams.

They had to endure the outrage of watching other nations celebrate their sporting icons with exuberant devotion while wallowing in seething anger.

Many times, locals have had to put their heads in their hands and wonder where “a” festive cheer will come from. National team games now attracted only a whiff of interest, with many sports fans arguing, “We’re not going to get far anyway!”


You might think the Zimbabweans are not a patriotic bunch.

But for the past two months, a national team has allowed Zimbabweans to dream again, dare to stand up in public and support “a” national team. Which national team brought those moments back into the lives of the sports-loving locals?

It’s the Chevrons, the Zimbabwe national cricket team, that have slowly crept back into the broken hearts and disappointed heads of the fans!

Shoaib Ahtar

Thousands of people have walked through the gates of Queens and Harare sports clubs in recent weeks to watch Zimbabwe fight and win while they’re at it.

The stadiums are full again.

Now that the team brought cricket home with a monumental series win over Bangladesh – with Sikandar Raza Butt charging like a bull to save his brood – it’s almost unbelievable to believe that the sport was a little over two months ago actually had trouble attracting fans to venues.

Losses to minnows like Namibia did not help their cause. But this supporter unease was/is not limited to cricket – people have lost faith in all the sporting rules that previously delighted the hearts of Zimbabwean sports fans. Whether tennis, football, rugby and almost all sports loved by Zimbabweans – the locals had lost all love for our “success-phobic” athletes.

Sikandar Raza

Zimbabweans used to travel hundreds of miles to watch the Black brothers Byron and Wayne, or their sister Cara, play tennis and beat some of the world’s best. They traveled hundreds of miles to add their voice to that of Reinhard Fabisch whenever the Dream Team was on site.

Mile after mile after mile they covered just to watch chicken farmer Eddo Brandes race down the wicket or take on Shoaib Akhtar. There were many sleepless nights when Kirsty Coventry, now Minister for Sport, competed in swimming pools around the world!

Eddo Brandes

Back then, support depended on these athletes doing their best, win or lose.
After all, Brandes and his bunch of chevrons haven’t won a world championship, and neither have the black brothers won the Davis Cup. But what they did do was lose gracefully, blood and sweat dripping from their foreheads after trying more than their fair share of trouble.

Some of those defeats didn’t bother the Zimbabweans, most of whom were preceded by unlikely victories against top opposition. As that throng of athletes faded into the sunset, Zimbabwean sport was stalked by talented but uninterested followers.

Minister Kirsty Coventry

There was little blood and sweat to give fans hope that victory was actually possible. Instead, Zimbabwe has been faced with national teams that lack determination, guts and struggle – a bunch of athletes just happy to make the cut, take the money, hop on a plane and get it all done as quickly as possible.

Then my oh my! The Chevrons came to town and ripped the party right out of the form book. Fans were reminded of the sweet taste of victory spiced with a pinch of hard work and a dash of dedication. Result – T20 World Cup qualification and first consecutive win over Bangladesh.

Suddenly India and Australia are wondering if the Chevrons are perhaps a little less likely to capitulate at the sight of the first 150km plus delivery.

Donata Katai

Both of them now really need to think carefully about Zimbabwe before boarding those flights! Be it Raza and his determination to rouse his teammates from their phobia of winning games, or Dave Houghton’s Midas touch, it seems that locals sing late into the night more often than they cry themselves to sleep !

Now the rest of the sports community is hoping that success rubs off on football, tennis, rugby and other sports.

Zimbabweans would love to see the Warriors become unbeatable at home again, the Locke brothers bring back the glory days of Davis Cup and see young Donata Katai swim her way into the millions of hearts beaten with every stroke in the pool for they pray .

Long live the chevrons! We believe again! Lord give us the strength to believe in all our national teams and may they not betray our trust. — @RealSimbaJemwa

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