Takashinga Cricket Club is a cricket club in Highfield, Harare. Some of its famous members include Andy Flower and Tatenda Taibu. The club's ground is located at the Zimbabwe grounds in the Highfield area. As of 2007-08, it was one of the strongest cricket clubs in Zimbabwe.

Background

The club was created in 1990 when Givemore Makoni and Stephen Mangongo decided they wanted to start a cricket club. The two looked for a place to call home, when after a long search, Churchill High School offered their facilities. Part of the arrangement, was that the club would be called Old Winstonians.[1] Some say that Andy Flower and his father, Bill, started Takashinga.

UK newspaper, The Guardian, credits the creation of Takashinga to Andy Flower and his father, Bill. When Andy Flower and his father Bill started Takashinga cricket club in Harare they planned it as a development project in the heart of Harare's main black residential area. Now, with the Flowers long since kicked out, the club is playing a major part in the Zimbabwe crisis.

To the Flowers it had seemed a perfect plan: build a club with access to decent facilities surrounded by schools in the suburb of Highfield from which it could draw a steady stream of talent for years to come. Today Takashinga is synonymous with a different approach.

It was Takashinga's chairman Givemore Makoni who threw Henry Olonga out of the club for the black-armband protest with Flower to "mourn the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe" at the 2003 World Cup (the Flowers had already ended their association with the club). He described the pair's actions as "disgraceful" and criticised Olonga "because he was a hero and role model to black cricketing communities".

Steven Mangongo, who was Zimbabwe's new convenor of selectors in 2004, is also a Takashinga man. An administrator of Asian descent met him in April 2004. "When this whole Streak issue came up, Steven looked at me and demanded, 'Are you with the whites or the blacks? You guys must decide,'" said the administrator.

With Mangongo at the helm of selection then, Takashinga had found prominent representation in the new-look national team: its captain Tatenda Taibu led what was almost certain to be the first entirely black XI to be fielded by Zimbabwe in the first of five one-day internationals against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo in April 2004. The suddenly senior batsman Stuart Matsikenyeri joined him.

Takashinga is synonymous with the drive for more black players in the game. According to the list of transgressions put together by the players who were refusing to play for Zimbabwe until Heath Streak was reinstated as captain, Makoni allegedly threatened a pitch invasion to try to force the inclusion of more black players in a team selected for a particular match.[2]

In 2001, the name was changed from Old Winstonians to Takashinga. By that point, a home base had been set up in the Highfield. Givemore Makoni told Cricinfo, "We have changed the name to identify with ourselves and our community. We are a black club, and 'Winstonians' does not identify with us in any way. 'Takashinga' means we are brave and we will fight all the way. This symbolizes the black people of Zimbabwe who are no quitters at anything they set their mind on."



References

  1. Liam Brickhill, [1], ESPN Cricinfo, Accessed: 15 December, 2020
  2. [2], The Guardian, Published: 20 April, 2004, Accessed: 15 December, 2020