Praying not to be stumped
-Picture: Jekesai Njikizana THE job of being Zimbabwe Cricket’s convener of selectors falls in hard hat territory, and the man occupying that post — Walter Chawaguta — says he always prays for guidance to avoid the many potential hazards.
Chawaguta is an elder at Kingdom Life Church, leads bible lessons, and plays the keyboard as and acoustic guitar at church.
When not spreading the Word, the 45-year-old former Chevrons coach finds a secluded place to pray — for wisdom to make the right cricket calls.
“I don’t ask God to show me who to pick and who not to pick no. I just pray for wisdom to make the right decisions,” says Chawaguta.
“Gut feeling does come in but it has to be married with facts and many other factors. There always has to be a little bit of that (gut feeling). It’s not always the hard facts and figures only.
“There are things that you see about a youngster … they may not be necessarily be producing the results at that particular time, but you just see glimpses of brilliance in that youngster and you have to buy that at times.”
It’s been five months in the job for “Elder Chawaz”, who took over from Tatenda Taibu, and at times things have been heated.
A public fall out with Brendon Taylor was a major flash point.
At a media briefing in June, Chawaguta said Taylor and other senior players had not availed themselves for selection.
Taylor did not take lightly to those claims and took to Twitter to call out the convener of selectors.
But as Zimbabwe prepare for the tours to South Africa and Bangladesh, the pair appears to have smoked the peace pipe.
“When things get a bit heated up we are bound to have difference of opinion,” said Chawaguta as he opened up on his relationship with BT.
“I have great respect for Brandon Taylor as a player. For your own information in 2004 when I was the Under19 coach he was one of my players, so we go a long way.
“I think he wants what’s best for Zimbabwe Cricket, the fact that he came back (from a three-year County stint with Nottinghamshire) and continues to perform for the team shows that. We can’t ask for anymore from him.
“I also want what’s best for the team so as much as we might disagree we always find common ground because we share the same vision.”
Chawaguta said new coach Lalchand Rajput shared the same vision with the selectors.
“The new coach shares the same opinion and policy of giving a player a long run. How long that is obviously depends on the player. We work well with the coach. I had a long chat with the coach yesterday (Tuesday), he is Australia with his family, and we are in agreement that we need to move forward.
“We need to move past the debacle of the qualifiers and start building the team for the future,” he said.