The Sunday Mail
HEATH STREAK is a good guy, a white man who speaks fluent Ndebele, and seeing him get jettisoned from the Chevrons dressing room via an email was not a pleasant sight.
However, there is a price to pay for failure no matter how fine a gentleman one is. Even if that white gentleman can speak Ndebele like Sandra Ndebele – there is still a price pay for failure.
And we don’t need Hawk Eye to tell us that by failing to lead Zimbabwe to next year’s cricket World Cup the 44-year old Streak failed.
Zimbabwe Cricket say he is free to re-apply for the Chevrons job but his chances of landing that post again are as good as those of having Luciano Pavarotti performing at the Harare International Conference Centre.
In any sporting set-up the buck always stops with the coach.
However, the chokers who blew away Zimbabwe’s chance to qualify for the World Cup must also be made to account for their treasonous acts.
Amid the steroids of emotions caused by Zimbabwe Cricket’s decision to make wholesale changes to the Chevrons technical team there is a real danger that some deadwood will escape the microscope.
It may turn out to be a “blame it all on Streaky” approach.
Yet the Chevrons players blew a golden chance to qualify for the World Cup.
A simple apology and flying under the social media radar for a while cannot be deemed as enough restitution, the chokers need to be chopped as Zimbabwe tries to navigate its way back to where cricket aristocrats wine and dine.
The players are not short of defence because so many things are wrong with our cricket.
The administration is poor at best and the team lacks a consistent supply of competitive matches.
However, we cannot ignore the fact that this one was all in their hands.
After an impressive start to the tournament Zimbabwe literally had the ticket to England and Wales 2019 in the bag but somehow they connived to roll some cigar with it.
With two Super Six matches remaining Zimbabwe had two bites at the cherry, one tricky one and another they were widely expected to execute even with one eye closed.
When they lost to West Indies by four wickets in the penultimate game no one pressed the panic button.
After all, a United Arab Emirates side that had been bullied in the Super Six stage looked there for the taking in the last match.
But someone forgot to give the Asians the script and Zimbabwe fell to their second consecutive defeat, the hosts fell three runs short of the World Cup. The tremors of that defeat have already seen Streak and his entire technical team, including the convener of selectors Tatenda Taibu, being swept aside.
However, that that process cannot end without claiming some playing casualties.
Yes Graeme Cremer had the captaincy stripped from him but that is not enough.
Every player who put on that red strip during the World Cup qualifiers must go under the microscope and have their value to the team assessed without emotions.
The days of carrying passengers in the team because they hit a century when they were raw 17-year-olds or because they are touted as big hitters who are just an inning away from producing a match- winning knock are long gone.
The coming in of a new coach must mark the start of a new dispensation, a new era where every player will have to earn his place in the team.