Cricket world bids Curran farewell

2012-10-11 00:00

ZIMBABWE cricket and the cricketing world mourns the death of former Zimbabwean batsman, national team coach and Dolphins player Kevin Curran (53), who died yesterday morning in Mutare.

According to a statement by Zimbabwe Cricket, the super fit and healthy Curran died while jogging, although the exact cause of death had still to be confirmed.

Curran was currently coaching the Mashonaland Eagles and was in Mutare for yesterday’s T20 clash against the Mountaineers. The match was postponed as the cricket fraternity tried to come to terms with the untimely death.

Curran made his international debut for Zimbabwe at the 1983 World Cup, in the team which caused a sensation when beating Australia by 13 runs. He played in two World Cups, scoring 287 runs in 11 matches, with two half-centuries. A right-arm seamer, he took nine wickets in one-day internationals and, by the time Zimbabwe was given Test match status, he had decided to remain in England as his 10-year residency qualification was nearly completed.

On the English county circuit, he was a faithful servant to Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire, scoring 1 000 runs in a season five times. He was on the circuit from the mid 1980s, joining Northants from 1991 after Gloucestershire failed to renew his contract. He retired from playing in 1999, but was actively involved in cricket.

Returning to Zimbabwe, he was the national team’s assistant coach before moving to Namibia. Back in Zimbabwe, he took over from West Indian Phil Simmons as national team coach from August 2005 until 2007. He was head of the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy and coached the Zimbabwe U19 side at the World Cup in 2010. While coach of the Mashonaland Eagles, he was named on the senior selection panel.

Mashonaland Eagles CEO Vimbai Mapukute said: “I have yet to meet a man more passionate about cricket in this country.

“He put his heart and soul into developing our franchise and had plans for high performance facilities and developing players and the game. His death has left a huge void and I have lost a friend.”

Closer to home, Curran turned out for Natal and Boland, playing with commitment and high standards.

Jesse Chelin, CEO of KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union, expressed his sadness at the news.

“As a union, we send our deepest condolences to his family and Zimbabwe cricket. His death is a huge loss to cricket in Zimbabwe where he was dedicated in returning his country to a respected force in world cricket.

“As a former Natal player, we feel his loss and a cloud of sadness hangs over us at this time.”

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