Zimbabwe Cricket Team

Ruling Body : Zimbabwe Cricket
Captain : Graeme Cremer (interim - ODI, T20)
Coach : Heath Streak
Granted Test status : 1992
Current international ranking: Official ICC rankings

 
Tests ODIs T20s

P 99, W 11, L 62, D 26, T 0

- P 475, W 122, L 338, T 5, NR 10 - P 54, W 13, L 40, T 1, NR 0
Recent highest test totals:
- 563/9d v West Indies (2001) 
- 542/7d v Bangladesh (2001)
- 507/9d v West Indies (2003)
Recent highest ODI totals:
- 351/7 v Kenya (2009)
- 334/5 v Pakistan (2015)
- 329/9 v New Zealand (2011)
Recent highest T20 totals:
- 200/2 v New Zealand (2012)
- 190/7 v Afghanistan (2015)
- 187/6 v Bangladesh (2016)
Capped players: 99 Capped players: 129 Capped players: 46
Highest individual score: 266 (DL Houghton) Highest individual score: 194* (CK Coventry) Highest individual score: 93* (H Masakadza)
Most career runs: 4,794 (A Flower) Most career runs: 6,786 (A Flower) Most career runs: 1,413* (H Masakadza)
Best bowling (innings): 8/109 (PA Strang) Best bowling: 6/19 (HK Olonga) Best bowling: 4/28 (WP Masakadza)
Best bowling (match): 11/255 (AG Huckle) Most career wickets: 239 (HH Streak) Most career wickets: 33 (AG Cremer)
Most career wickets:  216 (HH Streak)

Highest team inns: 563/9 v West Indies - 2001 Highest team inns: 351/7 v Kenya - 2009 Highest team inns: 200/2 v New Zealand - 2129
Highest run chase achieved:  162/3 v Pakistan - 1998 Highest run chase achieved:  329/9 v New Zealand - 2011 Highest run chase achieved: 146/5 v Netherlands - 2014
Average RpO: 2.68 Average RpO: 4.48 Average RpO: 7.23

Top run-scorers
4794 - A Flower
3457 - GW Flower
2858 - ADR Campbell
2207 - GJ Whittall
1990 - HH Streak
6786 - A Flower
6571 - GW Flower
5258 - BRM Taylor
5185 - ADR Campbell
4680 - H Masakadza
1413 - H Masakadza
789 - E Chigumbura
600 - CJ Chibhabha
594 - BRM Taylor
567 - MN Waller

Top wicket-takers
216 - HH Streak
80 - RW Price
70 - PA Strang
68 - HK Olonga
56 - BC Strang
237 - HH Streak
133 - P Utseya
104 - GW Flower
100 - RW Price
96 - PA Strang
33 - AG Cremer
26 - P Utseya
20 - T Panyangara
17 - SC Williams
16 - E Chigumbura

Record Partnerships
1st - 164 - DD Ebrahim/ADR Campbell
2nd - 160 - Sikandar Raza/H Masakadza
3rd - 194 - ADR Campbell/DL Houghton
4th - 269 - GW Flower/A Flower
5th - 277* - MW Goodwin/A Flower
6th - 165 - DL Houghton/A Flower
7th - 154 - HH Streak/AM Blignaut
8th - 168 - HH Streak/AM Blignaut
9th - 87 - PA Strang/BC Strang
10th - 97* - A Flower/HK Olonga
1st - 224 - Sikandar Raza/H Masakadza
2nd - 150 - GW Flower/GJ Rennie
3rd - 181 - TTaibu/CR Ervine
4th - 202 - SV Carlisle/SM Ervine
5th - 186* - MW Goodwin/GW Flower
6th - 188 - T Taibu/S Matsikenyeri
7th - 130 - A Flower/HH Streak
8th - 117 - DL Houghton/IP Butchart
9th - 89 - Sikandar Raza/T Panyangara
10th - 60 - SW Masakadza/IA Nicolson
1st - 101 - V Sibanda/H Masakadza
2nd - 107 - BRM Taylor/CJ Chibhabha
3rd - 79* - BRM Taylor/E Chigumbura
4th - 74 - SC Williams/MN Waller
5th - 67 - CR Ervine/MN Waller
6th - 77 - H Masakadza/PJ Moor
7th - 40* - E Chigumbura/N Madziva
8th - 27* - T Taibu/P Utseya
9th - 31 - E Chigumbura/P Utseya
10th - 10 - GA Lamb/RW Price
                 - TS Chisoro/DT Tiripano

Test status

Zimbabwe played its first Test match in 1992 (against India at Harare resulting in a draw), becoming the ninth Test nation.

Zimbabwe's early Test performances were consistently weak, leading to many suggestions that they were undeserving of that status. In the one-day arena, however, the team soon became competitive, if not particularly strong. In particular, world respect was gained for their fielding ability. The test status was taken away in 2005. However the status is to be restored for 2011 meaning Zimbabwe should play a test match 6 years before their previous one.

1990s
In spite of his team's difficulties, wicket-keeper/batsman Andy Flower was at one point rated the best batsman in world cricket. During this era, Zimbabwe also produced such cricketers as Flower's brother Grant, allrounders Andy Blignaut & Heath Streak,who was later appointed national captain). Murray Goodwin was also a world-class batsman; following his retirement from international cricket, he has scored heavily for Sussex. Another world-class batsman was David Houghton, who holds the record for the highest individual test score for Zimbabwe of 266 against Sri Lanka in 1994/95. Sometime captain and middle order batsman Alistair Campbell, leg-spinning all rounder Paul Strang, Eddo Brandes, and pace bowler/opener Neil Johnson were other important contributors for Zimbabwe on the world stage at this time.

With the appearance of some quality players, a breakthrough was achieved in levels of performance in the late 1990s where the Zimbabwean team began winning Tests against other nations, which included a series win against Pakistan. Unfortunately, the political situation in Zimbabwe declined at around the same time, which had a detrimental effect on the national team's performances.

Zimbabwe excelled at the 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup coming in fifth place in the Super Sixes, only missing out on a semi-final place due to having an inferior net run-rate than New Zealand.

The 2003 World Cup
Increasing politicization of cricket, including selectorial policy, along with the declining situation in Zimbabwe disrupted the 2003 Cricket World Cup, which was jointly hosted by Zimbabwe and South Africa.

England forfeited a match scheduled to be played in Zimbabwe, risking their own progress through the competition, citing "security concerns" as their reason.

Zimbabwean players Andy Flower and fast bowler Henry Olonga wore black armbands, for "mourning the death of democracy" in Zimbabwe. Both were immediately dismissed from the team and applied for political asylum overseas. This public political protest caused considerable embarrassment to the co-hosts and disrupted team harmony.

Since the 2003 World Cup, with a succession of Zimbabwe's best players ending their international careers early, a new side began to develop, featuring the likes of Travis Friend, Andy Blignaut, Craig Wishart, Ray Price, Sean Ervine, Mark Vermeulen, Douglas Marillier, and Barney Rogers. Whilst not of the same calibre of Streak, Goodwin, and the Flower brothers, this new breed of predominantly multi-disciplined players formed a solid backbone to a competitive, if usually unsuccessful, side.

In late 2003, Zimbabwe toured Australia in a two-match series. The series was more memorable for Australian opener Matthew Hayden's innings in the first Test - in which he overcame a back strain to score a then record 380 runs - than for the Zimbabwean performance.

The Streak affair
In 2004, captain Heath Streak was sacked by the ZCU ( now Zimbabwe Cricket), prompting a walkout by 14 other players in protest against political influence in the team's management and selection policies. A scheduled tour by Sri Lanka went ahead, however this was a lopsided affair, with Zimbabwe represented by fringe players who had not reached international standards yet.

Because of this, the ZCU accepted that Zimbabwe were to play no further Test cricket in 2004, though its status as a Test nation was unaffected.

In early 2005, Heath Streak was reinstated into the national side, but the political situation in Zimbabwe involving Operation Murambatsvina disrupted the Zimbabwean team. During overseas tours, the players were often said to be buying necessities which were unavailable - or prohibitively expensive - at home, as opposed to the souvenirs which other touring teams would purchase.

In 2005 an agreement was signed which led to the return of many of the rebels to the Zimbabwe side. However, results failed to improve as in March Zimbabwe lost both their Tests on tour against South Africa by an innings. Worse was to follow in August, when they were crushed on home soil by New Zealand, in a match that was completed in just two days, instead of the usual five. In the process, Zimbabwe were humiliated; they became only the second side in Test history (after India in 1952) to be bowled out twice in the space of one day. Then they lost both their tests to India at home later in September. After the series against India, Streak announced his retirement from international cricket, dealing yet another blow to the beleaguered team.

By November 2005, the players were once again in dispute with Zimbabwe Cricket over political interference in the management of the game as well as contract negotiations, and the new captain, Tatenda Taibu, resigned from international cricket.

By January 2006, 37 Zimbabwean cricketers had failed to receive any offer of renegotiation talks from Zimbabwe Cricket after their contracts with the board had expired. This body of players demanded that the chairman and managing director of Zimbabwe cricket, Peter Chingoka and Ozias Bvute, be removed from office for there to be any hope for the players to return to the international stage.

On 6 January 2006, the Sports and Recreation Commission, a division of the Zimbabwean government, took over the offices of Zimbabwe Cricket. The apparent takeover has resulted in the firing of all whites and Asians among the board directors, because of "their racial connotations and saving their own agendas and not government policy" according to Gibson Mashingaidze, an army brigadier and chairman of the government's Sports and Recreation Commission.

An interim board was appointed as the new leading party of cricket in Zimbabwe, with Peter Chingoka appointed as the committee's head. Given Chingoka's close ties to Bvute, it is likely that the latter will continue in his post as well.

Self-imposed international suspension
On 18 January 2006, Zimbabwe Cricket announced that they were suspending the playing of Test cricket for the rest of the year. Zimbabwe's coach Kevin Curran said that Zimbabwe were aiming to play their next Test against the West Indies in November 2007. It is currently felt by observers that the Zimbabwean national team is not of sufficient Test standard, and that competing against Full Member sides would do little to improve standards, given the likely one-sided nature of the games. Bangladesh, for a long time seen as the 'whipping boys' of Test cricket, recorded their first win against Zimbabwe, and are now generally regarded as being of a superior standard.

Domestically, the Logan Cup - Zimbabwe's first class competition played amongst the provinces - was cancelled in 2006 for the first time since its inception over a century ago (though the Cup was not played during some of the years of the World Wars). This was widely seen as due to concern by ZC that the standard of play would be so poor as to be both not worthwhile and potentially harmful to the external image of cricket in Zimbabwe. The one-day trophy, the Faithwear Cup, was contested, and drew complaints from observers that the quality was less than club level. As well as player exodus, the main reason for this catastrophic fall in standards was put down to wrangling within Zimbabwe Cricket, where internal politics motivated the removal of the historic provinces and their replacement with revamped, newly-designated provincial teams.

In a further harmful incident, ex-player Mark Vermeulen was arrested after attempting to burn down ZC's offices, and successfully destroying the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy's premises. In a nation in increasing social and economic turmoil, such facilities are hard to replace, and their loss has proven difficult to manage for a cricket administration already short of top quality facilities.

The ICC has not supported Zimbabwe's return to full Test status until the national team can perform consistently at that level and compete competitively against other test sides.

2007 Cricket World Cup
In the period coming up to the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, and to stop a similar exodus of players after the 2003 World Cup, the selected players were asked to sign a new contract. The players were summoned to meet Ozias Bvute, Zimbabwe Cricket's managing director, a week or so before they were due to set off and given an ultimatum - sign the contract on offer or be removed from the squad. It is understood that they were not allowed to take advice and were told they had to make the decision there and then.

One player told his team-mates that there were certain things contained in the contracts that needed clarification. He was summoned back into Bvute's office and warned that it was a take-it-or-leave -it offer: this player was later revealed to be Anthony Ireland. Another said that when he told Bvute he wanted to consult with friends, Bvute picked up the phone and called Kenyon Ziehl, the head of selection, and told him he wanted the player replaced in the squad. Unsurprisingly, the player backed down and signed.

In light of the poor state of Zimbabwe's finances, and that Zimbabwe Cricket had to borrow around US$1 million in early 2007 pending receipt of monies from the World Cup to help them over an ongoing cash crisis; the board agreed to pay match fees in US Dollars. The players are being paid US$2000 per appearance and a series of US$500 bonuses based on wickets taken and fifties scored. The maximum payment was believed to be capped at around US$8000. However, fees will not be paid until June 2007 to stop the exodus and help cash flow.

The spectre of continued problems with the ZC board has influenced some players to cut their losses and seek to finish their careers abroad: Ireland accepted a contract to play for Gloucestershire during 2007, while opener Vusi Sibanda also left. More are thought to be considering following suit.

Twenty20 World Championship
Zimbabwe upset Australia in its opening match of the Twenty20 World Championship in Cape Town, defeating them by 5 wickets. Brendan Taylor led the way for Zimbabwe, with first class wicket keeping (a catch, stumping and run out) and a crucial unbeaten 60 from 45 deliveries. He was man of the match. They then lost to England by 50 runs, meaning they exited the tournament at the first stage due to their net run rate being inferior to both Australia and England after Australia beat England in the other group game.

2007-2008 season
There was more encouraging news in October 2007, when it was announced that Zimbabwe would compete in all three domestic competitions in South Africa as part of Cricket South Africa's attempts to improve the standard of cricket in Zimbabwe. However, their participation in the above competitions was thrown into doubt when the plans were postponed pending a Cricket South Africa board meeting. A compromise was reached in late November, meaning Zimbabwe will take part in the MTN Domestic Championship and the Standard Bank Pro 20 Series, but not the SuperSport Series as originally planned. Instead, they played three first-class four-day games against a South African Composite XI made up of franchise and provincial players. The three games, in Paarl, Potchefstroom, and Kimberley were all won by Zimbabwe.

In between those games, they played a five match One Day International series against the West Indies, scoring an upset win in the opening match before losing the series 3-1. The final match was abandoned due to rain.

ICC World Cup 2011 and return to test cricket

Zimbabwe started their World Cup campaign with a 91 run defeat by Australia at Ahmadabad on 21 February 2011. They then recorded a comfortable victory over Canada, before losing by 10 wickets over New Zealand on 4 March 2011. Further heavy defeats by Sri Lanka and Pakistan followed, before a consolation victory over Kenya was achieved in Zimbabwe's final game of the tournament. After these defeats, opening batsman Brendan Taylor was announced as captain of all formats on 24th June 2011, replacing Elton Chigumbura.

Zimbabwe returned to test match cricket on 4 August 2011, after a six year exile. They hosted Bangladesh in a one-off test match at Harare. The national team's re-introduction to Test cricket was successful, as they beat Bangladesh by 130 runs.

As at October 29, 2016