Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
MATABELELAND Tuskers’ spin bowler John Nyumbu is still revelling at his 200-wicket first class cricket milestone achieved when they overran Mashonaland Eagles by 354 runs in the Logan Cup last week.
Nyumbu claimed two wickets in his 73rd first class cricket game.
It, however, took Nyumbu 14 years to register a 200-wicket haul since making his first class debut in 2004 as an Upper Sixth learner at Milton High School.
“It’s been a tough journey to reach this milestone, but my journey has been favoured by God, as whatever I have done has been by his Grace. I’ve learnt never to take for granted my God-given talent and each time I play I’m thankful to God,” said Nyumbu.
“Funny enough, all the good times and some of the historic moments that I’ve had in first class cricket have been achieved playing against Eagles. I think this is more like those Highlanders-Dynamos moments in soccer,” he said.
Nyumbu comes from a footballing family background and he still plays in the midfield in social games.
He used to be a member of the Milton High School soccer team before switching to cricket.
On why it took him so many years to reach the 200-wicket milestone, Nyumbu said: “I’m a late bloomer. If you look at our calendar, we don’t play lots of topflight games.”
Nyumbu cherishes his first class debut against Eagles in 2004 when he was still in high school.
He claimed his first five-wicket haul, reached 150 wickets and the 200-wicket milestones playing against Eagles.
“I still want to take more wickets. At 33, I still feel young. I believe I still have about three to four years to try and get as many wickets as possible and maybe even get more national team caps. I’m in good shape and if I maintain my body, barring injuries, I’ll get more wickets.
“It’s important as a sportsman to try and achieve the best with every game you play. My challenge to youngsters is to push hard, be persistent, and be disciplined on and off the field. The bad always overshadows the good you do, so strive to do well,” said Nyumbu.
He has also prepared for life after cricket and holds a Level 1 coaching certificate and plans to undertake administrative courses.