|Mangongo calls for sound junior development|
|Saturday, 18 August 2012 08:11|
ZIMBABWE national team cricket assistant coach Steve Mangongo has called for a sound junior development in the game if local cricket teams are to make an impact on the international level. His comments come in the wake of the elimination of the Zimbabwe cricket team from the ongoing ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
Zimbabwe lost by six wickets at the hands of West Indies in their final match in Australia on Thursday.
Zimbabwe had won one match after thrashing Papua New Guinea by 104 runs in their first match from Group C, which also included West Indies and India.
In their second match, Zimbabwe lost to India by 63 runs and needed to beat West Indies in their last match to stay alive.
But they found the going tough and lost by six wickets to complete a disappointing outing for the second time running at the same tournament.
Zimbabwe were booted out in the group stages during the 2010 World Cup and Mangongo feels little is being given to assembling competitive teams that can challenge for honours at the grand stage.
“For the past years we have been knocked out at the same stage and it’s a matter of great concern because the future of our country relies with this age-group,” said Mangongo.
“Our players are mostly drawn from schools and they have never played franchise cricket except for Kelvin Kasuza and we lacked experience.
“We need to take a serious look at our junior development and come up with a league where we can draw our players from rather than send the schoolboys to a tournament of this magnitude.
“All the other teams have players who are playing first class cricket and there was nowhere we were going to compete with those guys.
“West Indies had about eight players who play first class cricket and we need to put measures in place if we are to compete with these guys.
“We need to start identifying talent now rather than wait until we are left with two months to participate in a tournament,” added Mangongo.
West Indies finished top of Group C after registering three wins from as many games while India finished second following their 107-run win against Papua New Guinea.
West Indies will now face New Zealand in the quarter-finals on Sunday while Zimbabwe face Scotland in a ninth place play-off quarter-final at the Peter Burge Oval in Brisbane.