Bryan Strang interview

'You can't give up on the children'

Cricinfo staff

February 24, 2006

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Bryan Strang celebrates during an ODI in 2000 © AFP
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Bryan Strang, Zimbabwe's former medium-fast bowler, has found new passion in the children of his troubled African homeland.

Strang, 33, thought he had bounced back into Test cricket when he was recalled for a training squad ahead of the New Zealand and India tours to Zimbabwe last year. But he was later informed by Zimbabwe Cricket that he services were no longer required. "They told me that I was too old, and I laughed at them," explained Strang. "You can't be too old. You've got to look at my stats, I was bowling well in club cricket and I helped the A side won games against Pakistan A last year."

At the time he was picked for the training squad, Strang was working as a teacher at the Lilfordia Primary School in Harare. Lilfordia is a private school run by the family of Alistair Campbell, the former Zimbabwe captain.

"I think you can't give up on giving children an opportunity to play cricket," Strang said. "You teach them how to play, and later on when they get disappointed with the system, you take it from there. I'm disappointed because the people in charge of Zimbabwe cricket do not look to the children more, and the opportunity that sports create for everyone.

"You can't give up on this great future. The administration need to start caring about children's future, and also the future of everyone, who if cricket was there, would have a job."

Currently, Strang, who is recovering from a fractured arm after he punched and broke a window, is now employed as a coach at Harare's St George's College, one of Zimbabwe's top cricket nurseries which has produced players like Andy and Grant Flower, Brian Murphy, Trevor Gripper and Brendan Taylor.

"The talent is unbelievable," he said. "I love coaching. Cricket is my passion. I will never give up on Zimbabwe cricket. Administrators will change. No one is bigger than the game." As well as coaching at St George's, Strang has also opened his own business "basically on teaching life skills and how to achieve your goals."

Strang, who made his ODI and Test debuts for Zimbabwe in 1994-5 against Pakistan, played 26 Tests, taking 56 wickets at an average of 39.34. His older brother, legspinner Paul, was one of the senior players who left Zimbabwe cricket in frustration as crisis in ZC flared up.

Bryan has also proposed starting a coaching school at his club, Old Hararians Sports Club. "The thing is you have to remain positive. I'm trying to put back what I got from cricket. I want to give something back."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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