Zimbabwe news April 30, 2011

Chigumbura wants to step down as captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

Allrounder Elton Chigumbura has expressed his wish to step down as Zimbabwe captain, ESPNcricinfo understands. He is currently involved in talks with Zimbabwe Cricket and a final decision will be made in the coming week.

"He has said that he wants to step down," a source familiar with the issue said. "But talks are currently underway. He is talking to a board official and the coach as well about it. A final decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday."

Chigumbura, who took over from Prosper Utseya in May 2010, had mixed results in his tenure as captain but his previous assignment, the 2011 World Cup, proved a disappointment for Zimbabwe, who failed to beat any of the Test-playing teams. His own form, with both bat and ball, has failed to live up to expectations; he's averaged 21.06 with the bat and 158.50 with the ball in 20 ODIs as captain.

A report in Newsday, a Zimbabwe-based newspaper, suggested that Chigumbura's decision was final. The paper quoted Chigumbura as saying in an interview, "First and foremost I am selected to score runs and get wickets. This is something I have not been doing to the best of my abilities of late, especially the last three months. They have been difficult with all the demands of the captaincy job.

"I have thought long and hard about the job since my return from the World Cup and I have consulted my family and friends about it. While some still think I should have stayed on others agreed with me that I needed to concentrate on my own game and let somebody else lead the team.

"I think I will be more useful in the team if I regain my form and I know having relieved myself of this burden I will get back to my best."

Among the highlights for Chigumbura as captain were victories against India and Sri Lanka in a triangular series, in which Zimbabwe finished runners-up, at home. Zimbabwe are currently serving a self-imposed isolation from Test cricket but are expected to end it in June when they play Bangladesh.