Masakadza reveals his next big mission Hamilton Masakadza

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Zimbabwe cricket captain, Hamilton Masakadza, says he is on a mission to inspire the young and upcoming cricketers.

The 36-year-old retired from active cricket last year and has since been hired by Zimbabwe Cricket as the first director of cricket.

His roles entail providing oversight to the national team and he is also responsible for “recruitment, management and interaction of senior cricket technical staff within the cricket affairs department”.

He is also involved in defining policy, strategy and programmes of “best practice’’ throughout all aspects of the ZC cricket pathway.

Although his duties are mostly confined to the office, Masakadza told The Herald he will be spending his time in the nets to help both the development and national team commitments.

“Of course, I am now in administration but I still see myself with the need to play a role on the other side of things as well,’’ he said.

“This includes interfacing directly with the younger cricketers, in terms of their skills, and their development as players.

“Yes, I have my main job, my first port of call is administration, but I think I have a lot to share because of the experience I had playing, the time I spent in cricket, everything I have learnt, I have got a lot to share with the guys.

“So, it’s a role I have already started playing. I will be doing a few other things like helping out the batting coaches, because that’s where my strength was.

“In terms of helping the youngsters along, even just from sharing my story, I think a lot of them are already inspired.’’

During his 19-year international career, Masakadza represented Zimbabwe more than 300 times — in 68 Tests, 209 ODIs, and 66 T20Is.

He racked up more than 2 000 Test runs, as well as 5 658 runs and 39 wickets in ODIs.

Masakadza retired from international cricket last year, finishing on a high by scoring 71 from only 42 balls, in a tight victory over Afghanistan during a T20I tri-series in Bangladesh.

He was back in the limelight last week as the world looked back to the feat he accomplished, 19 years ago, when he broke the records by becoming the youngest cricketer to score a Test century on debut.

His 119-runs against the West Indies in Harare back in 2001, when he was a 17-year old schoolboy, remains one of the best moments of his career.

“Obviously, it’s a very big honour and it’s still something that is special and dear to my heart,’’ he said.

“Having made my debut, and then perform the way I did in that first game, was really quite satisfactory for me.

“It really sort of set me up, going forward, because it gave me confidence at that level which I think is the biggest challenge for any young person starting international sport.

“The first thing you ask yourself is whether you are good enough or not.

“Of course, you have all the people around you, encouraging you, and trying to give you the confidence that you need but, up until you do something on the day, you still have those little doubts.’’

His challenge now is to see Zimbabwe producing more young players who break international records.

“That’s one big challenge I have taken upon myself. I definitely want more of that to happen; I definitely want more of our younger guys coming through as early as I did.’’

Masakadza has been one of the pillars of the national team in the last two decades and he captained Zimbabwe in all the three formats of the game.

“Obviously, it had a lot of ups and downs. There were a lot of things that I would have wanted to change, a lot of things that I enjoyed, a lot of things that I didn’t,’’ he revealed.

“But, if anything, I would say it was quite a satisfactory and fulfilling journey because for anyone to come into the national team set-up, and play for as long as I did, you always look back at it as a blessing.

“In the world of sport, I would say it’s quite difficult to be there three-four-five years.’’

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