On the occasion of the Second One Day International against India.
We, the residents of Castle Black, are in Solidarity with the Players and Staff of the Zimbabwe national cricket team currently engaged in battle with India.
We are concerned citizens who have always held sports in general, and cricket in particular, close to our hearts. We have held faith with our national sporting teams through constant and disheartening loss, and we will not lose faith now.
We realise that the recent upheavals in the team and management, however shoddy and poorly planned, have ushered in a new status quo and the only way to move is forward. The only option we have as supporters is to throw our weight behind our new team and coaching staff, as the only other choice is to fail.
As Zimbabwean sports fans, we know the pain of constant loss, but we have never lost heart, because though we have often lost, we have never failed. Indeed, the recent qualification of our football team for the Africa Cup of Nations after many years in the wilderness shows the value of sustained effort, of never giving up no matter what the odds.
As we type this, the national Rugby Sevens team are on their way to Monaco, with the unlikely dream of qualification for the Rio Olympic Games still burning bright in their hearts. It is this spirit which we, as Zimbabweans, hold within – hope against hope, dreaming against all reason, and fighting on even under threat of failure.
Losing a cricket match is not failure, even if that loss is to an Indian cricket side with a combined age of fifteen and barely a cap among them.
Losing the first match under a new coach is not failure, even if that loss is by nine wickets with a paltry high score of 41.
Failure is giving up, and making no effort either with bat, ball or in the field. Failure is not trying to win, even when winning seems impossible or out of reach.
We at Castle Black cannot permit our team to wallow in failure, as we believe that with time and effort, we can return to being competitive on the international stage. Indeed, we may lose to India, but with hard work both on the field and in the gym, we can pressure what appears a hapless Sri Lanka, and can certainly take a game or two off New Zealand.
We hereby pledge to stand with Zimbabwe, whether in person or via the television, depending on work commitments. Our only expectation is that the team shows the same faith in us as we show with them, and gives their all for the “cowntry”.
Pamberi neZimbabwe! A luta continua!
Black, Joe, Mister.
Black, Izzy, Missus.
Lord Voldemort, Cat.