Coltart-Makoni Saga: No To More Trying Times For Cricket

The Coltart/ Makoni saga got me thinking really hard about our cricket affairs in general from the boardroom to the field.

The directive has been the cause of much concern in the country particularly for the cricketing world since its announcement. Its initial draft stated that only former national players could be considered as selectors. ZC took the issue with a pinch of salt t because of Zimbabwe’s past which saw few black African players represent the country at national level. The country’s cricket governing body said the directive would continue to marginalize the majority of the population by ruling them out of administrative positions.

How good have we been in the past decade in this gentlemen’s game? Some would argue that we haven’t played enough cricket this far. Some would like me say there has been a considerable amount of development in this game, enough to say we have rebuilt cricket to the extent that it has bore some internationally recognized stars like Hamilton Masakadza, Brendon Taylor, Elton Chigumbura, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Tatenda Taibu, world class umpires Jeremiah Matibiri and Owen Chirombe record breakers like Brian Vitori and the youngest T20 umpire Langton Rusere.

I am sure most of us would boldly say, we can never go back to the era of oppression by any standard what so ever. Whether or not Makoni is a worthy candidate it remains to be seen but for now until we can place a trusted “white man” we would be looking at another black man succeeds him and continue fighting for the cause of the general black cricketers. For now the directive by the SRC shades nothing but those painful days of our cricket history. Those days were being black was one’s undoing whether or not you were a good cricketer.

Where l hail from, in Bulawayo, there were players like the late great wicketkeeper batsman Wisdom Siziba, Godwin Dube, Mbekezeli Mabuza, Lucky Ngwenya, Trevor Phiri, Tinashe Hove, Sydney Dingizita, Chris Phiri, Vumindaba Moyo, Bhethule Mlotshwa and yours truly but unfortunately these gentlemen where denied a chance to showcase their skills to the nation because of the racial card being pulled time and again, eventually ending most of our careers at provincial level.

The racial card though must not be used as an excuse for our short comings; we have had our fair share of pathetic decisions as the black administrators. On the field of play there has been a ‘trial and error’ approach for the better part of the past decade or so until the arrival of the most successful project cricket has seen in this country; the franchise system. It has been successful, l mean judging from the fact that the system has produced a couple of progressive stars like Nathan Waller, Kevin Kasuza, Brian Chari, Stephen Chimhamhiwa, Tino Mutombodzi, Tendai Chatara, PJ Moor to mention just a few.

It’s interesting how Coltart has attracted so much attention when in actual fact cricket isnt doing that bad ( from my point of view). It’s a broke institution yes, its management has its short falls yes, its players have put one too many dismal shows yes, but with all due respect can all these problems be solved by appointing a former national team player to be convener of selectors? From the surface it looks and sounds well to have quality selectors but how many black faces do we have the backs of those hapless youngsters?

This directive is coming a bit too early, we will have to have the Vusi Sibanda, Masakadza, Matsikenyeri playing era coming to an end. Then they can usher the game from a hands on approach in terms of experience but until then the black majority, am sure will guard this convener of selectors post jealously because it provides for a fair player selection platform.


Godfrey Chris Koti is a cricket enthusiast, former administrator at Zimbabwe Cricket and a presenter on Star FM. This article first appeared on his blog Off The Crease (

  • Sam mpofu

    What is astonishing is how the writer studiously ignores all our black ex national sports stars who are eminently Qualified to select. There has been a cunning politicization of this issue lead by Jonathan Moyo and all this does is reveals mr Koti’s political loyalties. I suppose one would not get a job at Star FM unless one was politically correct ie ZANU .

  • Godfrey

    There’s so much more to the directive and also to what is perceived is a black and white issue with cricket on Zimbabwe.

    Firstly cricket in Zimbabwe is not well. There area lot of issues that still need to be resolved and this transcends the racial divide.A lot of people black, white , shona , Ndebele etc continued to the rise of black cricket in Zimbabwe..Unfortunately the race issue is the scapegoat of all of this.

    The reason why the standard has continually gone down within the first class structure from when I made my debut ten years ago is that Zimbabwe has constantly lost a stream of its most talented youth to other bassoons and trades and wet are in an never ending talent nurturing cycle that is perpetuatied by maladministration…..Sad but true .And till we are honest about that….the game that raised us up…will never do the same for others

  • Is there some unwritten rule that former ZC employees are not allowed to spill the beans? For someone who was part of a ZC i would have expected more indepth knowledge on the goings on at ZC which transcend race. Hon Coltart and his directive however were badly timed and greatly under estimated the impact it could have.

  • “cricket isnt doing that bad”
    If we take this position then some people would relax and think they are doing a good job. No! Cricket is doing terribly based on the talent available and the experience the players have. Results are not there cos the players go onto the field with no peace of mind because of the off field shenanigans they have to deal with constantly.

    I agree that selection is not the issue and if a directive were to be made it would have been to revamp a system not aimed at a position. Normally selection issues would be two people of slightly differing ability. Its not like the sham of high school selections which were based on how much your father donated etc. So really which ever XI walk on the pitch for Zim would basically do the same. So the problem is not selection.