INDEED, every cloud has a silver lining. Amid all the gloom and doom wrought by the country’s faltering economy, recent death of its founding leader Robert Mugabe amid a tense political environment, perennially troubled Zimbabweans have something to smile about following the emphatic victory of the national rugby team, the Sables.
Their 41-5 drubbing of Zambia to clinch the Victoria Cup after a seven-year trophy drought can only mean one thing; that the team’s fine run so far is a harbinger for greater things to come.
The Sables were unbeaten, with a game to spare, en-route to clinching the silverware, a feat which enlists our unreserved hearty congratulations, makarokoto, amhlope.
While we are heartened by the Sables’ performance, we do hope that the spectre of inexplicable problems that have dogged most of our sport, including rugby itself, do not spoil the Sables’ dreams and preparations for the more challenging games at the international stage.
Images of the Sables sleeping on the pavement of a street in Tunisia last year are still fresh in our minds. One of the players, after their former coach Peter de Villiers bought the players sandwiches using his own money, told us back then: “We have not been paid our daily allowances for our duration in Kenya, including our match fees that we did not receive. Now we’re in Tunisia, we were detained at the airport for close to six hours, with no allowances given to us. We’d be hungry right now. The situation is very frustrating and disheartening.”
Although the team slept on the street because of the poor accommodation they were offered by the hosts, that incident was a crude reminder that as a nation, we also need to cater for our own needs and not rely on our hosts.
Our national teams should be given enough to cater for themselves in the event of such incidents as the Tunisia debacle.
The Tunisia incident was probably one of the most embarrassing moments the country has ever been through and we hope and pray that history will not repeat itself during the time the rugby team will be preparing for the 2023 World Cup in France.
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