April 20, 2000

Tour diary: From paradise to reality

Well this is my last report and probably time for reflection on the just concluded tour. I suppose as far as the Test matches were concerned it was a case of what could have been. We got ourselves into good positions but failed to convert them into winning ones. We will have to learn how to do this and quickly if we are to do something in England over the next 3 months.

The one day matches were a big disappointment as we are probably a more accomplished one day side than Test side at the moment. We were well short of the standard required and were beaten comprehensively in the 4 games we played.

Apart from the cricket we know needs improving if we are to have a good tour of England, the Carribean tour was an experience of a lifetime, and, somewhere I thought I would never get to go.The beautiful beaches, friendly people, warm hospitality and the passion for Cricket are things that will remain in my memory until the next time, which I hope is not too far away.

As I write this report I am sitting in London's Heathrow Airport awaiting my flight home, which has been a difficulty in itself. British Airways have postponed their regular flight to Harare due to the crisis and have pulled all their staff back to Lusaka, with no guarantee that the flight will go to Harare.I have managed to get back home via Johannesburg all it be for 3 days, as its back to England on Sunday to commence a 3 month tour.

A sad piece of news is the resignation of Dave Houghton as our coach. Citing personal reasons Dave called it quits after our last one day game which was a bomb shell to us all. On behalf of myself and the team I would like to thank Dave for all his efforts with the team which I know have been very frustrating at times, and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Barbados is widely regarded as probably the best island in the Carribean, although this would be hotly disputed on the other islands. We got to go there for 24 hours on the way home and had great plans to visit the "hot spots". Unfortunately - seems to be the story of our tour - there had been no running water on the island for 2 days and was still none so most of these " hots spots" were closed. We had to thus confine ourselves to the beach outside the hotel and when finished swimming in the sea go back to the hotel pool for a bath.

I suppose it's back from paradise to reality now as we come to grips with what is happening in Zimbabwe and also what is happening to our cricket. These are hardly times one associates with prosperity and growth but we need to remain focused, positive and confident and have faith that things will come right. We have to believe - but I suppose only time will tell!