The former captain and top-order batsman for Zimbabwe spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from Zimbabwe’s cricket ban by the ICC, his new job, his vision, Bangladesh’s ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and much more in an interview with The Business Standard.
Hamilton Masakadza is a name synonymous with Zimbabwe cricket and one that is very familiar in Bangladesh.
From playing for Zimbabwe to playing first-class cricket here, Masakadza has become a regular in Bangladesh and cricket in Bangladesh.
This time, with Zimbabwe going through a bad patch on and off the field, Masakadza has returned with a new job and a new set of responsibilities, as director of Zimbabwe cricket.
The former captain and top-order batsman for Zimbabwe spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from Zimbabwe's cricket ban by the ICC, his new job, his vision, Bangladesh's ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and much more in an interview with The Business Standard.
TBS: Tell us a bit more about your job as Zimbabwe cricket director.
Masakadza: I'm working as Zimbabwe cricket's director and looking after administrative section. I oversee the national team, age-level teams and the supporting staff.
TBS: How are you liking your new role?
Masakadza: It is obviously an exciting role and there is a lot of work to be done here. This is a big platform to learn. As a player, there are many aspects that you might not by privy to. What the players are thinking and how to understand them better and give them the best chance is a big part of my job here.
TBS: What is your vision with the Zimbabwe Test team?
Masakadza: As a Test playing nation, the goal has got to be to play as many Tests as possible. I personally feel this is the purest and ideal format of the game. So we have to think a lot about this. But there are many factors involved here. The money required to play also has to be taken into account.
TBS: Zimbabwe are doing better than they were when the ICC ban happened. Did it act as a blessing in disguise?
Masakadza: The ban was a bad moment for us and we lost a lot for it. We cannot play in the Twenty20 World Cup this year and the women's team couldn't participate in the ongoing World Cup. It was bad for us, but it also helped us organise ourselves better. It gave us the opportunity to give our system a new perspective - how we do our work and how we can better do it.
TBS: What are the plans right now?
Masakadza: There are always short-term and long-term plans. Right now the goal is to qualify for the next World Cup. Qualifying for the T20 World Cup after this one is also part of that plan. There are lots of promising talent coming through and we are moving forward with an improved and long-term plan to bring these players through the ranks and into the national team to build it up.
TBS: You have played a lot of cricket in this country and seen Mashrafe Bin Mortaza from a close proximity. How do you value him?
Masakadza: Mashrafe has done a great job for Bangladesh cricket. What he has done, he hasn't received the same level of plaudits. We started our careers almost together and he's a real Tiger for Bangladesh cricket. I have played an entire season of local cricket with Mashrafe. I heard stories about him at that time and got to know more about him there. He has always been a fighter on and off the field and that has been an inspiration for me. In my opinion, he is a beacon of hope for Bangladesh cricket. I've told him before and I hope he writes a book about his life to help inspire others.
TBS: What is your opinion on Mashrafe's retirement, which has become a topic of discussion recently?
Masakadza: I don't think it is the time to say goodbye to Mashrafe but I do think it's time for him to move away from captaincy. However, I feel he can play international cricket for a few more years and he definitely has a lot more to offer. I think, for what he has given Bangladesh cricket, he should be the one deciding when it's time to hang up his boots.