Cricket

Zulu optimistic after Zim's new dawn

2017-11-22 12:47
Lance Klusener (Gallo)

Cape Town - Proteas legend Lance Klusener hopes that the developments in Zimbabwe over the last few days and the resignation of President Robert Mugabe will inspire a new dawn - as well as for cricket - in the country. 

FULL LETTER: Robert Mugabe's resignation notice

Klusener, player of the tournament at the 1999 Cricket World Cup, is currently serving as Zimbabwe's batting coach and has developed a close relationship with the nation since taking the job midway through last year. 

The financial struggles plaguing Zimbabwe cricket have been well-documented in years past as the sport fell victim to a Mugabe leadership that spanned 37 years. 

With a sense of a fresh start currently embracing the country, the hope is that things will begin to improve in all spheres. 

Klusener knows that the change will not happen immediately, but looking ahead he is hopeful that this new beginning will help Zimbabwe cricket get back to where it once was. 

A start, he said, would be for international sides to start touring Zimbabwe more regularly. 

"It is good news. There is a lot of positivity there at the moment and a lot of people's lives have been changed," Klusener told Sport24.

"Hopefully it opens the door for something better.

"Zimbabwean cricket has had its financial troubles and if this means that we secure more tours, especially with the bigger sides coming over, then that would be fantastic as that would generate some good revenue.

"Even if they stop over for a week or two on their way to South Africa ... we have a lot of gaps in our schedule so that would be great for us."

Klusener, who played 49 Tests and 171 ODIs for South Africa, knows that Zimbabwean cricket fans will have to be patient. 

"These problems don't get sorted out overnight," he warned, adding that the end of Mugabe's reign would hopefully allow the world to see Zimbabwe in a new light.

"This will hopefully also bring a change of mindset ... that we're not shunned upon by the bigger cricketing countries. The progress will be slow, but it is an exciting time to be a part of it."

It is fitting that Zimbabwe will be making history the next time they step on a cricket field. 

Klusener and his charges will be in South African on Boxing Day when they take on the Proteas in the first-ever four-day Test in Port Elizabeth. 

It will be an historic day in cricket, as well as in Zimbabwe. 

"The timing couldn't have been better," Klusener acknowledged. 

"But as a team and a country there is a lot of work to do to restore so many years of mismanagement."

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  robert mugabe  |  lance klusener  |  cricket
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