Sport Shorts – 19/4/06

Aussie cricketer refuses to play i

n Zim

HARARE – Australian cricketer Stuart MacGill, 35, will not play for his country against Zimbabwe on moral grounds, but he hopes to play a big role in the Ashes grudge match at home in the summer.

“I certainly can’t see another Australian tour for me, unless I miraculously hit one-day cricket,” MacGill said. “The next scheduled tour is Zimbabwe, in the middle of next year, which I won’t be part of.

He made himself unavailable for Australia’s tour of Zimbabwe in 2004 on moral grounds, and believes the political interference in the African country’s cricket has increased since then. Australia is set to tour Zimbabwe in September next year.

“Unfortunately, the current Zimbabwean side seems to be agreeing with everything their teammates in the past have said,” MacGill said. “It is a disappointing situation for world cricket, really, because there is a great deal to be gained in African cricket outside of South Africa. Hopefully, it is only a short-term problem.”

The NSW leggie proved to be Australia’s most effective weapon against Bangladesh in the enthralling first Test, in Dhaka, bagging a career-best eight-wicket haul in the first innings, while Shane Warne struggled with a shoulder injury. – Sports correspondent

Zanu (PF) elbowed out Mighty Bulls
HARARE – Senior ruling Zanu (PF) officials forced the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) to elbow out Motor Action from the Independence Trophy competition in favour of popular Harare giants Dynamos, ZimOnline has learnt. Motor Action, who are the holders of the trophy and who finished fourth in the Premiership last year were supposed to play CAPS United in the semi-final on Sunday but Zifa snubbed them claiming that clubs are now “being invited” to participate in the tournament.

A senior Dynamos official said they had been assured by Zanu (PF) officials that they would participate in the tournament “come rain or thunder”. Dynamos have in the past few months been invaded by ruling party officials and their secretary-general Keith Guzah is alleged to have strong ruling party links.

A number of cabinet ministers including Ignatious Chombo, Nicholas Goche, Webster Shamu and deputy minister, Bright Matonga have openly showed their allegiance and support to Dynamos at public functions. Said the Dynamos official: “Some ministers ordered us to participate in the Independence Cup against CAPS because they would be assured of a huge crowd. Zifa then imposed us on the tournament but we believe it is unfair for football. If the truth be told, Motor Action did well last season and they deserved to play in our place but it was not to be. We know Zanu (PF) is using our club but this does not mean that other clubs have to be oppressed.

“In any case, it is not good for our development to be picked up from nowhere and compete in a competition we don’t deserve to be in. Our players will relax and think they are the chosen ones,” said the top Dynamos official.

Dynamos subsequently lost to CAPS in the semi-final. In the past, the norm was to take the clubs, which would have finished in the top four from the previous season. Motor Action muted the idea of taking up the matter with the courts but decided against the idea because Zanu (PF) is ruthless with people who openly challenge them.

Perhaps Motor Action boss Erick Rosen did not want a repeat of an incident three years ago when war veterans invaded Callies Sports Club (home of Motor Action) claiming that he was racist. Motor Action also planned a demonstration at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday but it flopped because of a heavy presence of security details at the stadium to thwart any threats to the game. – ZimOnline

Mhlauri to appoint youth team coaches
HARARE – Zimbabwe national soccer team coach, Charles Mhlauri will soon appoint coaches of all national youth teams as the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) attempts to close the gap between the Warriors and youth teams.

Mhlauri hinted soon after the African Cup of Nations finals in February that he would be happy to have a continuity programmes from all youth teams where players would be properly developed until they graduate to the national teams.

The Warriors coach also attacked youth national team coaches for using over aged players at the expense of properly aged players in youth teams saying this was killing football in the country.

Mhlauri confirmed that he would be responsible, together with Zifa officials, for selecting youth coaches and their managers ,saying this was the way forward for the development of football in the country.

“From next week we will be sitting down to consider the composition of the technical teams from the Under-17. Senior team coaches should work together with youth team coaches so that we get the correct information about the performances of players.

“From my short experience with the national team, players come in fresh from the Under-23 team only to discover that the player will be way above the his stated age. This retards development and affects the whole nation,” said Mhlauri.

He added that he was in the process of coming up with a selection criteria to come up with the best coaches. This he said he would do with the assistance of some Zifa officials. – ZimOnline

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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