AT his prime Elton Chigumbura was a fine all-rounder, explosive with the bat, could hit the ball way out of the park and many cricket lovers remember that he used to bowl at 90 miles an hour in the process establishing himself as one of Zimbabwe Cricket top performers.
His confidence and skill left the local cricket family with no choice but to admire him.
Chigumbura, who first shot into prominence during the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2004 in Bangladesh when he starred with the ball in a surprise victory over Australia, carved his name in the senior team soon after, making his debut in a home ODI series against Sri Lanka the same year.
After a 16-year career, Chigumbura (34), announced that he will retire after the final Zimbabwe’s Twenty20 international against Pakistan on Tuesday.
“It’s a tough decision to leave the game you love,” he told Pakistani television last Sunday.
“It was a lovely journey with ups and downs,” he added.
As they would always say numbers don’t lie, statistics point to the fact that Chigumbura is a legend, a Chevrons King that needs to be celebrated.
He played 213 one-day internationals for Zimbabwe — only behind Andy Flower (221) and equal with Andy’s brother Grant, scoring 4,340 runs at an average of 25.23.
Chigumbura also played 14 Tests and he finished his international career on Tuesday on 57 Twenty20 internationals.
As a fast bowler, he reportedly has 101 one-day, 21 Test and 16 Twenty20 international wickets.
However, as fate will always have it, in the last two years his breathtaking career was marred by injuries, a development that compelled him to retire.
Courtesy of his top-drawer fast bowling antics and ability to hit the ball with so much dexterity, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has also seen it fit to take a bow for Chigumbura, a regular at top ICC events including three Men’s Cricket World Cups and five T20 World Cups.
In a statement, ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: “I congratulate Elton for an impressive career that saw him succeed across formats for a number of years. He was a fine ambassador of the game and came up with notable contributions with both bat and ball across formats.
“I hope Elton will continue to be associated with the game after retirement and use his considerable experience to promote the game in his country and outside.”
The fast bowling all-rounder reportedly scored 569 runs and took 21 wickets in 14 Tests but tasted more success in ODI cricket, amassing 4,340 runs and grabbing 101 wickets in 213 matches. He went into Tuesday’s T20I and last of his career, with 891 runs and 16 wickets.
Chigumbura played in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups of 2007, 2011 and 2015, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cups of 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016, as well as the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in 2004 and 2006.
He led Zimbabwe in 62 ODIs and 18 T20Is.