The Sunday Mail
Hamilton Masakadza admits that leading a divided changing room has been one of his career’s toughest challenges.
But then, Mudhara Hammy’s experience, as his mates call him, have helped him deal with it.
After weeks of trying to set up an interview with the Zimbabwe Cricket team skipper, The Sunday Mail Sport finally caught up with him.
The setting for yesterday’s interview was Magaba, Mbare, in one of Masakadza’s sleek cars.
Masakadza has been busy with family stuff and setting up The Hamilton Masakadza Foundation.
The Foundation seeks to assist the less privileged young cricketers from the ghetto, who like him once upon a time needed help to launch his career.
The Sunday Mail Sport couldn’t help asking what Masakadza was up to in Mbare.
“It’s a very big secret,” said Masakadza, before breaking into his famous chuckle.
“As they say in the movies, if I tell you, then I will have to kill you,” he said before going on to explain.
“I have been running around helping my parents with farm stuff. l am also getting some of my own stuff. We are in the process of renovating the cottage at home, we are about 60 percent through. So we are getting some of the things here in Mbare.
“That has been taking up most of my time these days.”
Masakadza opened up about life before and during the Zimbabwe Cricket’s suspension by International Cricket Council.
“So many people have been affected by what has been happening off the pitch. But off-field politics should not affect what happens on the field.
“There are lots of lessons from what happened. But we now need to focus on the future and ensure that this doesn’t happen again. We have to put all of it behind us.
“With any team sport, it’s never easy going through things like that. It’s always best to have a united front, unfortunately we didn’t have that.
“There was a possibility that this could have been the end of cricket in Zimbabwe,” he said.
At 36, not many innings are left in Masakadza’s sturdy frame. He concurs.
“I’m in the process of setting up a Foundation that will help the young boys from the high density where I came from. They need to excel in cricket.
“In terms of giving back to the community, expect a lot from me,” he said.
For someone who made a grand entrance in 2001, is Masakadza thinking of a grand exit?
“You don’t know what will happen in the future, but as an individual you will feel it when it is time to move on and let someone else step in. You will feel it if you still have the energy,” he said.
Speaking about his August 9th birthday, Masakadza said, “Turning a year older doesn’t really mean much, but it was a good day spent with the family,” said the Chevrons skipper.
“Those quality moments that are spent with family are very important. It’s important to enjoy life off the pitch in as much as you enjoy being on it,” he said.
Masakadza also spoke glowingly about his wife Vimbai.
“She has always been brilliant, very supportive, a little bit critical at times, but she helps keep me in check.
“Vimbai has also been some sort of coach on the side, sometimes I am told to get in the nets.
“It’s been really good having her by my side, she has been a pillar of my strength and an important source of encouragement,” he said.