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Utseya resigns as Zimbabwe captain

Cricinfo staff

May 11, 2010

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Prosper Utseya and Elton Chigumbura celebrate Zimbabwe's win over Australia, Australia v Zimbabwe, World Twenty20, Newlands, September 12, 2007
The old and the new: Prosper Utseya and Elton Chigumbura celebrate Zimbabwe's win over Australia at the 2007 World Twenty20 © AFP
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Players/Officials: Elton Chigumbura | Prosper Utseya
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Prosper Utseya has resigned as captain of Zimbabwe, handing over a formal resignation letter following a meeting with the managing director of Zimbabwe Cricket. His replacement in the position is allrounder Elton Chigumbura.

"It has been a privilege for me to captain Zimbabwe for the past four years," Utseya stated in his resignation letter. "It has been an experience that has been fraught with many emotions, though I am glad to say that, overall, I have enjoyed the experience immensely and would not have wished for it to be otherwise.

"I remain committed to the cause of the team and Zimbabwe Cricket," he continued. "That commitment is something every international sportsman has. It is more so for those who, like me, have had the honour to lead their national sides."

Thrust into the senior national team in 2004 at the age of 19 when the 'rebel' players withdrew, Utseya held his place in a weakened national side, taking over the captaincy from Terry Duffin in 2006. He led Zimbabwe in 67 one-day internationals, with 20 victories, and all 10 of the Twenty20 internationals the team has played so far.

Always economical but rarely incisive, Utseya came of age with the ball during the tour to West Indies in May 2006, where his flight and spin belied his lack of experience and years. He should, in all likelihood, retain his place in the side on his bowling alone as he, together with left-arm spinner Ray Price, has formed the backbone of Zimbabwe's spin-oriented attack in recent times.

Utseya captained the side in the darkest days of Zimbabwe cricket, but despite some positive results in recent times the team has continued to perform inconsistently, even against weaker opposition. It is understood that he stepped down in the interests of the team's future development.

Chigumbura will now lead the side in their tri-series against India and Sri Lanka at home, which starts on May 28. Another player who got his start in the national side during the 'rebel' player crisis, Chigumbura has since emerged as a frontline performer for Zimbabwe with both bat and ball, and already captains the Mashonaland Eagles. His appointment as captain was a unanimous decision by the ZC Board.

"I am humbled by the confidence that the cricket committee and the ZC Board has shown in me to select me for this role," said Chigumbura in a statement to the board. "It is a privilege to lead a team that I have been growing and playing with all these years and I look forward to the challenge.

"I am grateful to Pro [Utseya] for the support he has given me as an individual and as captain and I look forward to his continued guidance, and support."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ToMegaTherion1986 on (May 18, 2010, 23:23 GMT)

Zimbabwe are beginning to show signs of improvement, but the road back is a long one. This is probably not to best decision in the interest of the team. Elton is a very good player, and probably a potentially good captain in the future, but he is still quite young and still learning his own game. While is had and still have reservation about Utseya as captain, he has done a respectable job as captain with the resources he has had available to him. If team is looking for new captain, Taibu would probably be my next choice as captain, purely for his experience and he has done it before, unfortunately when he was captain last time it was during the massive exodus of the first half of the decade. I believe was are seeing the potential for a strong Zimbabwe revival in the test arena in the next couple of years, however they do need stability, I just hope the decision to employ Elton as captain is a long term decision and not a short term idea.

Posted by   on (May 17, 2010, 13:09 GMT)

Gud luck guys! Can Elton do it? I have my doubts, but might aswell give full support.

Posted by AnotherFlowerFan on (May 17, 2010, 12:05 GMT)

I am not sure of this decesion - I always had question marks on Utseya as captain but to replace him with Chigumbura is a mistake. Chigumbura is no doubt very talented and very good. Infact he is the best in the team. They should let him concentrate on his batting. I would have loved Price for captain.

Posted by L.Pearce on (May 14, 2010, 6:59 GMT)

in time i think elton will accept the leadership and responsibility of captain and further add to his impressive development as a cricketer. things are changing for zim and all for the better so this news can only be all good for now and in the future. all the best for the tri series (look out ind/sl) i am wholeheartedly remaining optimistic and am praying that winning results are frequently a thing of the future.

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 7:34 GMT)

i think this is a good move for the good of the game.....Good luck Chigs

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 6:58 GMT)

ah! dis sud nt hav hapend. douh i m an indian supoter bt i'll stil say dat utseya was a nice skper.chigumbura is curently in gr8 form and he can lose dis form bcoz of added prsure of cptency.

Posted by Troyd on (May 13, 2010, 4:28 GMT)

Like Prosper as a player/ lacks incision at an international level perhaps but reliable, economical and handles pressure as a bowler, never really rated him as a captain though, kind of felt sorry for him more than anything. Would hate to see the pressure of the role affect Chigumbura - our shining light. No obvious candidate for the role .. maybe get Taibu back. i thought Chigumbura was off to Northants anyways and had promised them uninterrupted availability for the season? On another note good performances from Ervine [double unbeaten century] & Ireland [7 wickets] in the English League recently, would be nice to get them back. The former has also occasionally captained Hampshire.

Posted by Haussen on (May 12, 2010, 15:08 GMT)

Oh dear, didnt expect that so soon! A player told me while I was in Zim that Prosper doesnt know whats coming his way, he's going soon! I think Elton is my favourite Zim player but I dont think he is captain material. I think ZC should swallow their pride and put either Taibu or Price as the captian. And let people like Chigs play the role they do well without pressure.

Posted by   on (May 12, 2010, 13:18 GMT)

About time!.the guy z been a hanger on 4 too long!Wonder hw he was able 2 keep the job for 4 yrs!!Unfortunately I think Elton z not captain material.Hes very talented n maybe the most talented player the country has bt tht doesnt mean hes got wht it takes 2 make a good captain!Wish him da best tho!!

Posted by   on (May 12, 2010, 8:44 GMT)

good move for zimbabwe future cricket. Elton was the suitable person 4 that role

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