Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
THE International Cricket Council described yesterday as a sad day for the game around the world after former Zimbabwe Cricket chairman, Peter Chingoka, died in Harare.
He was 65 and is survived by wife Shirley, two children Farai and Dambudzo, and one grandchild.
Mourners are gathered at 36 Sandringham Drive, Alexandria Park, Harare.
‘’The International Cricket Council (ICC) was today saddened to learn of the death of Peter Chingoka,’’ the ICC said in a statement.
‘’Chingoka had a long career as a cricket administrator, including as the president of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (as Zimbabwe Cricket was called then) from 1992 to 2014, where he assumed the title of chairman in 2001 and significantly contributed to the game’s development across Africa.
‘’He also was a member of the ICC Board during that time.’’
ICC Chief executive, Manu Sawhney, said the global cricket family was mourning.
“The death of Mr Chingoka is sad news for the cricket world. He was widely acknowledged as an important leader in cricket in Zimbabwe and was a respected member of the ICC Board.
“It was with great sadness that we learnt of his death. On behalf of the ICC, I would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”
Chingoka died yesterday morning at the Avenues Clinic.
According to family spokesperson, Patrick Chingoka, his younger brother, the late administrator was in and out of hospital and suffered from a combination of hypertension and kidney problems.
ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani described him as a humble and dedicated person
“It’s a sad day for cricket. It’s a sad day for sport. He served over 20 years on the ZC board and served in the cricket council. He was there when we got our Test cricket status. I served under him as vice chairman.
“We will greatly miss Peter. He was very humble and approachable. He weathered the storm for cricket locally and internationally.
“He will be missed by many,” said Mukuhlani.
The Sports and Recreation Committee also paid tribute to Chingoka.
‘‘The Sports and Recreation Commission has received with a deep sense of sorrow and sadness the news of the passing on of Peter Chingoka, a revered and long-serving cricket administrator.
“Peter’s commitment to sport in general and cricket, in particular, was unquestionable as evidenced by his immeasurable and invaluable contribution to the growth and development of cricket.
‘‘Though Peter had retired from the active administration of cricket, he still remained a vital cog and a repository of cricket knowledge in the country which could be called upon to give wise counsel at any time.
“The void that Peter has left will undoubtedly be very difficult to fill. On behalf of the Sports and Recreation Commission, we will would like to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and the cricket fraternity for the sad loss of a beloved one and a colleague.’’
His death comes a year after his brother Paul, a former Tennis Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president, also passed away.
Chingoka was one of the first black Zimbabweans to establish themselves in cricket where he started as a player and then an administrator.
A local cricket fan, Columbus Makumbe, also offered his condolences. “With a deep sorrow I learnt about the death of one of the best cricket administrators in this country.
“As a devout fan of the Chevrons, I will remember Peter Chingoka as a highly experienced administrator, outstanding personality endowed with unique human properties,’’ Makumbe said.
Chingoka was made honorary life president of ZC just three months after he stepped down as chairman.
During his playing days he was a seamer and quite a handy lower order batsman and played in the Gillette Cup knockout competition in 1975-76 and 1976-77.
One of his most notable scalps was South African legend Barry Richards.
‘‘Peter Chingoka was the first black Zimbabwean to make his name in cricket,’’ the authoritative Cricinfo said.
‘‘A seam bowler and useful lower-order batsman, his greatest cricketing achievement was his appointment as captain of the South African African XI that played in the Gillette Cup knock-out competition in 1975-76 and 1976-77.
‘‘He was able to play multiracial club cricket for Universals, but was not a major figure and pursued cricket administration. He was appointed vice president of the ZCU in 1990 and took over as president on the resignation of David Ellman-Brown in 1992, shortly after Zimbabwe gained Test status.’’