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Yadah Stars not for sale

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Yadah Stars

Prophet Walter Magaya says his Yadah Stars’ Premiership franchise is not for sale and this year he intends to take a hands-on approach to issues related to the club to try and even fulfil his dream of winning silverware.

There has been frenzied speculation during this off-season that the franchise would be put on the market with a number of clubs, notably relegated Nichrut and Bulawayo City, being possible suitors to take over the slot.

But Magaya, who was disillusioned with the way the club was treated last year he even took a hiatus from bankrolling it leaving that responsibility to his partners, says his love for the club has been rekindled.

He summoned his players into camp during the Christmas and New Year holiday season, with the players and coaching staff only being given off on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, in an early start to preparations for the next season.

The football-mad prophet has also retired some of his most experienced players, and ushered them into coaching, while he is now on the hunt for a number of some exciting teenage stars.

The entire technical staff has also been overhauled with head coach Thomas Ruzive joining Black Rhinos while a new-look coaching team is being assembled.

ON THE WAY OUT . . . Yadah Stars star forward Leeroy Mavunga is likely to leave the Harare side and join a European team this year.

Magaya says he will remain the team’s technical director and will be in charge of all coaching matters, including coming up with the blueprint which he wants his team to use for an assault on silverware.

Yadah Stars sailed in relegation waters last season but finished the campaign strongly, including beating one of the championship-chasing teams Ngezi Platinum, and he wants his men to build on that.

The players have been camping at the Yadah Hotel during the Christmas and New Year holidays and Magaya says he wants his men to be in prime shape when the season opens.

“I have heard the speculation that we are going to sell Yadah Stars but that’s not true and we are here to stay and we will be part of the PSL again this year,” he said.

“In fact, while I faced some challenges last year with what l felt was an unfair treatment of my team, leading me to take a back seat of its operations, I can report that I have had a change of heart and revived my commitment to the project.

“A number of players were knocking on my door every day saying they were distraught because they felt I was abandoning them and telling me stories of how we have become a family and how I have managed to transform their lives.

“In the end I could not ignore their pleas for me to reconsider my position and I am back with them and I also felt I needed another crack to realise my dream of winning some silverware because I believe in this mission.

“That is why we have started preparations very early when most of our rivals are having an off-season because we intend to make a difference this time around and make a big impact.”

He said the team was being revived through the addition of some exciting teenage players while the veterans had been pushed into retirement to take up coaching roles.

“We have some experienced players like Brian Mapfumo who have made a great contribution to our cause over the years and shown that age is just a number but we have ushered them into retirement where we will help them pursue coaching courses,” Magaya said.

“We are replacing them with some young and dynamic players, mostly under the ages of 20, and our plan was to work with these boys until the start of the season in August.

“We felt that had the season started in August as initially reported we would have assembled the most potent youthful team the country has ever known given we have scouted from across the nation.

“However, the decision to stick with the March start to the calendar means some of the boys might not be as ready to express themselves and play to their potential and also play the way we want.

“But that doesn’t mean we won’t fight to win matches and I believe we will be a far better team than the one that we fielded in the last campaign.

“Football means a lot to me, it’s my game, and just to see these boys win matches makes my days even when the chips are down and there are some issues plaguing me.

“I have had my issues which have frustrated me, especially the way I felt was a harsh treatment we were getting from the league, but there is a new leadership now and I am sure they will listen when we ask them to consider our plight.”

Magaya said he will remain the team’s technical director.

“In fact, from now onwards I will play a leading role in helping the team in its preparations, its training programmes, the conditioning of the players, the scientific aspects like studying our opponents and how to handle them,” he said.

The prophet also revealed he was resigned to losing star forward Leeroy Mavunga to Europe this year.

“The people who want Leeroy in Europe have been saying he has to come now and l don’t see us having him around for a long time,” he said.

“But we have to ensure he gets a good deal because, when you look at his age and potential, he has a lot to offer to this country in years to come and we need to ensure he gets the right deal.

“He is an amazing young man and the future for him is very bright.”
The Herald

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HEALTH

Sixteen NBA players test positive for coronavirus

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Malcom Brogdon

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association said that 16 players tested positive for coronavirus in the first wave of mandatory tests done in preparation for the restart of the season. Those 16 players were part of a pool of 302 tested on Tuesday. Tests continue for all 22 teams that will be participating in the restart at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida, next month.

The player names were not disclosed. However, some players, such as Malcolm Brogdon of Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings teammates Jabari Parker and Alex Len have publicly acknowledged they have tested positive.
The league and the union say that “any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician.”Al Jazeera

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NEWS

Peter Chingoka dies

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Peter Chingoka

THE International Cricket Council described yesterday as a sad day for the game around the world after former Zimbabwe Cricket chairman, Peter Chingoka, died in Harare.

He was 65 and is survived by wife Shirley, two children Farai and Dambudzo, and one grandchild.

Mourners are gathered at 36 Sandringham Drive Alexandria Park.

“The International Cricket Council (ICC) was today saddened to learn of the death of Peter Chingoka,” the ICC said in a statement.

“Chingoka had a long career as a cricket administrator, including as the 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 also was a member of the ICC Board during that time.”

ICC Chief executive, Manu Sawhney, said the global cricket family was mourning.

“The death of Mr Chingoka is sad news for the cricket world. He was widely acknowledged as an important leader in cricket in Zimbabwe and was a respected member of the ICC Board.

“It was with great sadness that we learnt of his death. On behalf of the ICC, I would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”

Chingoka died yesterday morning at the Avenues Clinic.

According to a family spokesperson, Patrick Chingoka, his younger brother, the late administrator was in and out of the hospital and suffered from a combination of hypertension and kidney problems.

ZC chairman, Tavengwa Mukuhlani, described him as a humble and dedicated person

“It’s sad for cricket. It’s a sad day for sport. He served over 20 years on the ZC board and served in the cricket council. He was there when we got our Test cricket status. I served under him as vice-chairman.

“We will greatly miss Peter. He was very humble and approachable. He weathered the storm for cricket locally and internationally.

“He will be missed by many,” said Mukuhlani.

The Sport and Recreation Committee also paid tribute to Chingoka.

“The Sports and Recreation Commission has received with a deep sense of sorrow and sadness the news of the passing on of Peter Chingoka a revered and long-serving cricket administrator.

“Peter’s commitment to sport in general and cricket, in particular, was unquestionable as evidenced by his immeasurable and invaluable contribution to the growth and development of cricket.

“Though Peter had retired from the active administration of Cricket, he still remained a vital cog and a repository of cricket knowledge in the country which could be called upon to give wise counsel at any time.

“The void that Peter has left will undoubtedly be very difficult to fill.

“On behalf of the Sports and Recreation Commission, we will like to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and the cricket fraternity for the sad loss of a beloved one and a colleague.’’

His death comes a year after his brother Paul, a former Tennis Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president, also passed away.

Chingoka was one of the first black Zimbabweans to establish themselves in cricket where he started as a player and then an administrator.

A local cricket fan, Columbus Makumbe, also offered his condolences.

“With deep sorrow, I learnt about the death of one of the best cricket administrators in this country.

“As a devout fan of the Chevrons, I will remember Peter Chingoka as a highly experienced administrator, outstanding personality endowed with unique human properties,’’ Makumbe said.

Chingoka was made honorary life president of ZC just three months after he stepped down as chairman.

During his playing days, he was a seamer and quite a handy lower-order batsman and played in the Gillette Cup knockout competition in 1975-76 and 1976-77.

One of his most notable scalps was South African legend, Barry Richards.

“Peter Chingoka was the first black Zimbabwean to make his name in cricket,’’ the authoritative Cricinfo said.

“A seam bowler and useful lower-order batsman, his greatest cricketing achievement was his appointment as captain of the South African African XI that played in the Gillette Cup knockout competition in 1975-76 and 1976-77.

“He was able to play multiracial club cricket for Universals, but was not a major figure and pursued cricket administration.

“He was appointed vice-president of the ZCU in 1990 and took over as president at the resignation of David Ellman-Brown in 1992, shortly after Zimbabwe gained Test status.’’The Chronicle

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NEWS

Zimbabwe Cricket governing board to be reinstated following court order

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ZIMBABWE CRICKET TEAM

Zimbabwe’s Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has decided to reinstate Zimbabwe Cricket’s suspended governing board, which it had replaced by an interim committee last month.

The move led to the cricket board’s suspension by the ICC, which deemed it as “political interference”. ZC was given an October 8 deadline to “unconditionally reinstate” the governing board led by Tavengwa Mukuhlani.

“Accordingly, and pursuant to the said court order, the SRC hereby lifts the suspension of the directors of ZC, including that of the acting managing director [Givemore Makoni], with immediate effect,” read the statement released by SRC on August 8. “The interim committee accordingly ceases to administer the affairs of Zimbabwe Cricket forthwith.”

The decision by SRC follows a court order that came about after the suspended directors of ZC appealed the decision in the administrative court of Zimbabwe. The reinstatement of Mukuhlani and others paves the way for Zimbabwe’s inclusion back into the international fold. The ICC will convene for its next meeting on October 12, four days after the deadline for Zimbabwe ends.

In a July 24 letter, the ICC had warned about a possible termination if Zimbabwe Cricket fails to find a way back to the democratically elected board.

“Should the ICC not receive a satisfactory response from you on the above terms, within the stipulated time frame, the ICC reserves its right to take such further action as it deems appropriate including to proceed by way of termination of your membership as provided for in the Articles of Association,” the ICC letter read.

Zimbabwe, with their full member rights suspended, have already lost on berths in the upcoming World T20 qualifiers. Nigeria replaced them in the Men’s qualifiers whereas Namibia replaced them in the Women’s qualifiers.

Besides that, Zimbabwe’s domestic competitions were also put on hold due to frozen funds but the news of their participation in the triangular series in Bangladesh, which earlier looked doubtful, came as a huge boost. Cricbuzz

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