exclusive: Joseph Madyembwa interview

Posted by admin on September 02, 2008

In our most indepth interview yet, spoke to the Uprising Cricket Club allrounder Joseph Madyembwa about the state of cricket in Zimbabwe. How would you describe yourself as a cricketer (ie. batting style, position in the batting order, fielding and bowling)

Joseph Madyembwa: Basically I'm an allrounder. Bowl right arm medium fast and usually, or I can say love to, bat at number 8. I love to hit the ball so much. My fielding is excellent and people call me after the greatest fielder of all time, Jonty Rhodes. Everybody calls me Jonty, and I also love to field at point or gully region. I'm also good in the covers and at mid off. Which local teams have you played for?

Joseph Madyembwa: I started playing for what was called Northwinds, that is when I was 14 in 2001. It was affiliated in the Vigne Cup 3rd League. Later on it merged with Uprising to become one team, that is Uprising Cricket Club we have now. From there have never left the club up to now. Rose through the ranks from the 4th team up to the 1st team. Our 1st team is in the 1st league in the Mashonaland PG Timbers Vigne Cup. Have been playing 1st league cricket for the past 4 years. Have also represented Mashonaland in the U16 and U19 age groups. Do you feel ready to take the next step and play for Mashonaland/Northerns?

Joseph Madyembwa: I feel ready to take the next step and play for Northerns/Mashonaland because I have played more cricket at the highest level in terms of club cricket so got the necessary experiance tp play First Class. It's only a matter of time and if given the opportunity. What is your first cricket memory?

Joseph Madyembwa: When I was given a bat by Mr. Bill Flower, father to Andy and Grant, for being the Man of the Match in a game at Stragglers Junior Cricket Week in 1997. Had scored an unbeaten 72, that was my first 50 in cricket. I was only 10 years old. Which cricketer did you look up to as you were growing up? (from any country)

Joseph Madyembwa: I can say he is the "Chicken George", Eddo Brandes. He was a very good cricketer though age was not on his side when I came to know him. I remember he destroyed England. From the current Zimbabwe squad, who do enjoy watching play most?

Joseph Madyembwa: No doubt about it, it is Tatenda Taibu. That man is of class. I mean the way he bats shows how good he is and the energy he has when in the field. There is also Vusimuzi Sibanda and Elty. I like them when they start playing shots; these guys are a marvel to watch. Is there still a lot of interest amongst the community about how the national cricket team is doing? What is the mood like after a big win (such as the wins against Australia and West Indies)

Joseph Madyembwa: In Harare I can say yes, there is still a lot of interest about how the national team is doing. People come out in their numbers to support the team though sometimes they go back home dissapointed. After a big win, the mood is electrifying. Everyone will be talking about it in town. Do the games Zimbabwe plays get shown on TV or radio? Or only on cable television and subscription services?

Joseph Madyembwa: The games Zimbabwe play are only shown on cable television and subscription services. Once in a while they are shown on national television. As for the radio, there is no such thing like that in Zimbabwe of getting live commentary from the radio. Is there a cricket ground and a local team in the Victoria Falls town?

Joseph Madyembwa: As for a ground there is no cricket facilities in Vic Falls, but in Hwange - a near town. If the smaller provinces that had been formed remained, we would have seen a team from there and possibly cricket facilities being built. Are the grounds in Zimbabwe well maintained? How do the club grounds like Old Hararians and Kadoma Sports Club compare to the international venues like Harare Sports Club and Queens?

Joseph Madyembwa: The grounds are now not well maintained. The turf of the grounds are in a poor state. One cannot believe that Alex (Alexandra Sports Club) was once an international ground but now it's in a sorry state. Even the turf at Harare Sports Club is no longer evergreen due to unrestricted use. What are the facilities at the grounds like and have these places, like the Keg and Maiden, been affected by the economic crisis in Zimbabwe?

Joseph Madyembwa: The facilities are just not up to standard. There are only bars, which only the club members are allowed to get service from. These places have also been affected by the economic crisis because very few people frequently visit these places. During the domestic Faithwear and Twenty20 competitions, do the teams wear coloured clothing? If so, what were the uniforms like for the teams?

Joseph Madyembwa: The teams used coloured clothing that was sponsored by Faithwear clothing company. The uniforms were not up to standard. The jerseys were of poor quality but the tracksuits and warm up kits were good, cannot complain. Are there any exciting players coming through the schools system at the moment? There has been a lot of talk about Corey van Rensburg and Kyle Jarvis, could they potentially break into the provincial sides in the next season?

Joseph Madyembwa: A lot of exciting players are coming through the schools system and they have the potential to break into the provincial sides in the next season. Some of them have already made it into the provincial sides. I'm talking the likes of Gary Chirimuuta of Prince Edward School who has been playing for Centrals for the past 2 seasons. Who are the exciting fast bowlers coming through the system at the moment? Shingirai Masakadza performed very well in the Logan Cup, but is he a true pace bowler? Kyle Jarvis and Khawulani Ntuli are some names that get mentioned quite often.

Joseph Madyembwa: I think Michael Chinouya, Taurai Muzarabani, Kyle Jarvis, Khawulani Ntuli are the exciting fast bowlers coming through the system. As for Shingirai Masakadza, he is not a true pace bowler, though he performed well in the recent Logan Cup. He is not even quick, it's just that the batsmen underrated him and played shots, thus giving chances and many thanks to the Easterns fielders for taking them. We should not forget Admire Manyumwa who according to me is the best pace bowler in Zimbabwe, but is not being given the chance. This shows there are loopholes in their selection criteria.

A huge thank you to Joseph Madyembwa for providing such great insight for us!