16 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Let's Cancel Annual Local Sports Awards

SUCH is the paucity of sports achievements that we should not really hold the prestigious Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) this year.

I will try and persuade you on this view, but if I can't maybe Zimbabwe national cricket team captain Brendan Taylor can.

After scooping the top prizes at the 2012 cricket awards last Saturday, Taylor said: "We probably shouldn't have had the awards this year. There was nothing really."

But it is not only in cricket where there was 'nothing' but in every discipline of Zimbabwean sport.

The country's number one sport, football, is again a source of major disappointment after a year in which administrators took more space on the back pages than the players themselves. Top among them is the Asiagate scandal.

Not even our exports to foreign leagues are worthy of mention.

Knowledge Musona, possibly the cream of the exports, has been struggling with a team in the lower end of Germany's Bundesliga.

Let's switch to cricket. Those who select players for awards will be remembered for blundering last year when they overlooked Taylor, who in all fairness should have won the top accolade, but this time they had little to sift through.

As good as he has been in the last couple of years, Taylor had little to show for this year, but to be fair to him it's not entirely his or any other cricketer's fault because there was little international action between January and now.

Choosing the team of the year is easy as only one national team stands out. The national rugby team, the Sables, excelled and capped it all by being crowned African Champions.

If I had to choose one outstanding sportsperson, and it would have to be at gun point, I would settle for golfer Brendan de Jonge. He has put in some good performances at the top level and at the least deserves special mention.

Whoever wins the top award joins the hall of fame graced by the likes of Byron and Wayne Black, who won silverware on the ATP tour and led the Zimbabwe Davis Cup team to the World Group stage.

The Sportsperson of the Year would also be mentioned in the same breath as women's tennis sensation Cara Black, and of course swimming queen Kirsty Coventry of the Athens and Beijing Olympics heroics respectively.

All these athletes had something to show when they scooped the country's highest sporting accolade, but 2012 has been one of the most barren for Zimbabwe's sportsmen and women.

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