RAY Price played his cricket with some of Zimbabwe’s golden generation of players.
When the former left-arm spinner burst on to the scene in 1999, he shared the dressing room with the likes of the Flower brothers, Heath Streak, Eddo Brandes, Alastair Campbell, Neil Johnson, Murray Goodwin and others. There was no shortage of guidance.
Zimbabwe Cricket since then has gone from bad to worse. On Thursday, Brendon Taylor joined the long list of talented cricketers who have left Zimbabwe for better options in county circuit. No wonder Price is unhappy with the situation.
“Zimbabwe Cricket doesn’t understand the importance of players,” Price told TOI from Harare.
“You can replace administrators but not players. Even for a country like India, to find another Virat Kohli would be very difficult. ZC needs to understand that we don’t have a large pool of players.
“Brendon is a key player in every format for Zimbabwe. His absence is a big hole. If you take his 121 out of what Zimbabwe scored against Ireland, we would have been beaten by very big margin.”
The 38-year-old blames the poor administration of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) for this mess.
“The International Cricket Council (ICC) has been helping administrators and not players. That money needs to go to players. They need to feel secure,” he said.
“Countries like Ireland, UAE, and Scotland are playing good cricket and if we continue to lose players we will be losing to these teams soon.
“They’ve got a good coach in Dav Whatmore but who will he coach if there is no talent? It’s more to do with the money. Players should be getting salaries on time.
“Your career as a player is very short. When you finish your career as a player, you are left with no money to buy your house or do something else. So I don’t blame the players.”
Zimbabwe are not only losing players but the support staff as well.
“Look how well Bangladesh seamers did against England. Rubel Hossain bowled so well and I am sure it has a lot to do with Heath (Streak),” said Price.
“Grant Flower is doing a great job with Pakistan. He has helped Younis and other young guys. Pakistan physiotherapist Brad Robinson is Zimbabwean.
“You look at South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka – they are all using their former players to help their team and pass on the knowledge.Advertisement
“We seem to be leaving those people alone. Heath Streak, Grant Flower and Andy Flower are big losses for us.”
Price feels many Zimbabwe players could have had longer careers with a little bit of support from the administration.
“Heath could have played a little bit longer. Also the likes of the Flower brothers, Paul Strang, Andy Blignaut, Neil Johnson, Murray Goodwin, Brian Murphy, Travis Friend, Trevor Gripper.
“Garry Balance is now playing for England. You make a team out of that. It could have given good sides a run for their money,” Price said.