Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
VETERAN cricket administrator Peter Chingoka was laid to rest at Glen Forest Memorial Park yesterday.
Chingoka passed away last Thursday at the Avenues Clinic at the age of 65.
Sportspersons thronged Glen Forest Memorial Park to pay their last respects to a man who was conferred with an honorary life presidency at the local cricket mother-body just three months after he stepped down as chairman.
Chingoka had a long career as a cricket administrator, including as president of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (as Zimbabwe Cricket was called then) from 1992 to 2014, where he assumed the title of chairman in 2001 and significantly contributed to the game’s development across Africa.
He was also a member of the ICC Board during that time. During his playing days he was a seamer and quite a handy lower order batsman and played in the Gillette Cup knock-out competition in 1975-76 and 1976-77. ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani paid tribute to Chingoka, describing him as an educationist who fought hard to see cricket spread to the black communities.
“He was someone who stood up for the good of the sport and after his stepping down when I took over as the ZC boss, he showed me the way in a big way. He was someone who could introduce you to the highest offices of cricket and by that he prepared me very well.
“We were always in contact whenever need arise and he was there to give his views, making the administration work somehow easy for us. We will not be able to fill the void he has left and I don’t believe we will have another administrator with qualities that can match Peter Chingoka’s. As a way of honouring the late Chingoka, Mukuhlani said they might organise a tournament in his honour and maybe invite some teams he supported like India.
“We hope we will have a tournament to honour him as he did quite a lot, especially by standing up for the blacks in this country to be involved in the sport. We hope we will have something to remember the veteran administrator,” added Mukuhlani.
Chingoka’s younger brother and family spokesperson, Patrick, said they lost a father-figure, a brother who cannot be replaced. “We are very saddened by the sudden departure of our brother who did a lot for Zimbabwean cricket and we will not be able to replace his legacy in anyway. As a family, it is so hurtful but he is someone who played his part and was very active in terms of cricket development as he stood up to see that everyone gets an equal opportunity.
“We are also encouraged by the way he touched so many lives,” said Patrick.
Chingoka’s son, Farai, who opted to play rugby and hockey after trying his hand at cricket at primary school level, said his father inspired him in a big way.
“It’s a great loss to the family and at the same time we are celebrating a life well lived. I believe he helped a lot of people to achieve their dreams and up to today his legacy is difficult to forget. “I was encouraged in a big way to take up cricket but later on settled for rugby as I grew up,” said Farai.
The burial was also attended by former Zimbabwe senior football team coach Sunday Chidzambwa, soccer legend David “Yogi” Mandigora, cricketers Hamilton Masakadza and Mary-Anne Musonda, among several others.