Pray­ing not to be stumped

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SPORT - Brighton Zhawi

-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.

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