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ZCO editorial, volume 3 issue 31

So Mashonaland have won the Logan Cup again, for the second season in a row winning all five matches

John Ward
So Mashonaland have won the Logan Cup again, for the second season in a row winning all five matches. They were fortunate, though, to be able to fight back and beat Manicaland after following on, thanks to the most remarkable of Craig Evans' batting feats this season. An interview with Craig is included in this issue. They also enjoyed the benefit of a generous declaration by Mashonaland A, for the second successive year, that enabled them to win that match.
In the past two or three seasons, Mashonaland made themselves highly unpopular around the country for their arrogant attitude and their abuse and needling of opponents on the field. It was good to see less of this in their final match, against CFX Academy, although they were not altogether innocent. But it certainly appeared to be an improvement, and there have been fewer complaints about them around the country this year.
On the other hand, general behaviour by all teams in other areas has continued to deteriorate, and that has brought much criticism from officials and spectators. There is far too much ridiculous appealing - otherwise known as cheating - for a start. There is too much foul language from players, bowlers especially, when things do not go their way, which can clearly be heard from the other side of the boundary. There is far too much dissent or banging of bats or pads by batsmen when they are out. Certain players have acquired reputations for petulance on the field. Self-control is no longer considered a virtue on the cricket field.
There is an increasing feeling that match referees are now needed for Logan Cup cricket, with instructions to stamp out all these excesses of behaviour and make cricket again a sport for children to watch - as some still do, and more would if it were better advertised. Part of the problem, though, is that club cricket is also played in this way, and it would be impossible to supply match referees for all club matches - it is hard enough to find umpires.
On the other hand, if umpires were treated with due respect by the players, more might be willing to stand. But, according to Dave Houghton, when they make complaints about player behaviour, all too often little or nothing is done, so they do not feel they are getting any support from the administrators. Peter Robinson, former umpire who used to work in the ZCU headquarters, put it slightly differently a couple of years ago when he said that action was in fact usually taken, but the umpires were too often not informed of it.
Let us hope that ZCU puts this high on their list of priorities when planning next season, and that the growing tide of anarchy is stemmed before it gets completely out of control, as it has in certain other parts of the world.
In this issue we continue with our biographies of players: a new one in Sherezad Shah, nephew of Ali and a student at the CFX Academy, and updated ones in Neil Ferreira, Brighton Watambwa and Ryan Butterworth. There will be more in our next issue, which will be the final one of the season.