Tinotenda Mawoyo talks about cricket politics and development In Zimbabwe

Sport | By Tinotenda Mawoyo, Cricketer | 28 April 2013
PHOTO: © Jekesai Njikizana

Can you give some insight as to the playing opportunities for those who haven't broken into the franchise system? - Ming
We have 5 franchises across the country, each with its own club league. Those players who are looking to break into the franchise set up, must start off by performing well in the club league, thereafter they stand a good chance of being selected to represent the franchise ‘B’ team. If they continue to prove their worth whilst playing in the ‘B’ league they will be elevated to the franchise main team.
Do you feel that there is any sense of loyalty for the players to their provincial franchise? How do they feel about getting moved around? - Jemisi
There definitely is loyalty to franchises on the part of the players. I’ll use myself as an example. I have been with the Mountaineers formerly Manicaland province, for 10 years. The system no longer allocates National team players or academy graduates to a particular franchise as in the past. Players are therefore free to play wherever they want to play, and move whenever they feel the need to do so.

How intense are the training camps - Sloandog
Our pre-season training camp last year was very intense as I’m sure you all know we were preparing for our Test return. It included home tours by the South African and Australian ‘A’ teams. I believe this season has been much the same with the guys preparing for the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, playing a home tri-series with Bangladesh and South Africa. I cannot give complete first-hand information though as I am currently not part of the T20 squad.
Are there any Takashinga-like initiatives outside Harare and at club level? - Ming
There is a club called Emakhandeni in Bulawayo, whom I believe are a driving force behind revealing the talented and underprivileged black cricketers in Matabeleland.
What is the general situation in Zimbabwean and Franchise system - Clikcspeed
Each franchise contracts players for the season on a 7 month contract. This is excluding those who would have been centrally contracted by Zimbabwe Cricket. Those contracted to Zimbabwe Cricket are on a 12 month contract. The number of contracted players varies from season to season for both central and franchise contracts and those who do not receive a franchise contract are paid per each game they play.

What really motivated you to loose that fat that you had? - Flower power
At some stage in my career, soon after Alan Butcher joined as National team coach, it was made clear to me that it didn’t matter how many runs I scored both locally and against touring teams, I was not going to be considered for a national team spot until I had lost a considerable amount of weight and improved on my fitness. Looking back it helped me a lot with my game, moving in the field, batting long periods and the general period of recovery for my body. Most important however, as a professional sportsman after trimming off the weight, my self-confidence increased significantly, and I think we have all seen what positive fruits this has born on my game.

The politics at ZC

What was your involvement in the issue that led to the Mashonaland Eagles Team Manager leave the country in a huff? Word is that you were interrogated by former ZC Managing Director at his offices? And in the process he admitted to standing up for you to be selected in test squad and after that incident he said he was done standing up for you and influencing the selectors to pick you. How far is this true and also you have links to Ozias Bvute since you come from the same area that is Manicaland. - POVO
As a professional cricket player my principle is to simply stick to playing the cricket as best I can. I relish any opportunity I get to play for my nation on the field, and concentrating on the background issues will tend cause us players to lose focus and this negatively affects performance. Therefore, as a matter of principle, I choose to stay away from that side of things. As a result I cannot answer on the facts regarding the issues you have raised here regarding departure of certain players or officials – it is best you direct those questions to them. It is a fact that I went to the same school as Ozias Bvute, and history tells me that many players and administrators have shared schools and even age-group teams before, yet that has never been an issue. So I am not sure that this fact has anything to do with my ability to acquit myself well as a national player, and my ability to represent my country well as a cricket player, as I have previously done and continue to do whenever I am honoured with a national call up. It may also be a good idea for one to get an understanding of how the technical side of cricket and professional sport differs from the administrative side. With this understanding one will would easily know that team selection in any professional sport is a matter completely carried out by the technical side (Team coach, technical advisors and selectors), and the administrative team largely have nothing to do with that side of things.

Have things (the mood) changed after Ozias Bvute's departure? - @ThatDarkChild
We’re still the same team members working with the same technical staff, and based on that we are largely operating with the same level of enthusiasm and seriousness as we have always done before.

How much of a say do players have on issues off the field (ie salaries, day to day administration of club/country) - Clikcspeed
Sportspeople all over the world in different sporting disciplines will always have something to say whether it be with regards to remuneration, or administration or anything else that may affect them. But the reality is our job is to play the sport and not to govern it. We can make suggestions, but we don’t have a say as such.

Am interested to know what the pay situation is - heard some players are taking part-time jobs? - Tristian Holme
As I mentioned earlier there is a group of centrally contracted players who are on a twelve month contract. Those employed by the franchise are on seven month contracts. I am sure some players in those other five months do part time jobs as they are free to do as they are not on contract. 
Are you happy with the current administration for Zimbabwe as well as Mountaineers? - Clikcspeed
The current ZC administration has only been in place for about 2 months. I therefore cannot give fair comment as their period of office as I mentioned has been very short to date. As for Mountaineers, we have also had a new administration in operation for the last 15 months, and generally speaking the way the franchise is being run is encouraging.

Read More interviews in this series;
Tinotenda Mawoyo, Zimbabwe crickets opening batsmen
Tinotenda Mawoyo and captaincy