HARARE – Former Zimbabwe cricket team coach Alan Butcher has written a book on his tenure as national team coach titled The Good Murungu: A Cricket Tale of the Unexpected. BYAUSTIN KARONGA
The book published by England-based company, Pitch Publishing, is set to be released in the United Kingdom on the first of April with a copy going for £12.99.
Butcher coached Zimbabwe from February 2010 to the last day of March in 2013. The Englishman, during his tenure was entrusted with the job so that he could instil confidence and turn round the fortunes of a team that was at its lowest ebb after voluntarily withdrawing from Test cricket for six years.
Butcher’s reign was made up of joys and agony, particularly of the near misses when the team would have played to potential but lacked the killer instinct against some quality opposition reflecting on the team’s lack of experience as a result of the voluntary withdrawal.
The Amazon, an international online retail summarises The Good Murungu as follows: “Former county cricketer and one-time England Test batsman Alan Butcher was looking for a new challenge after leaving his job coaching Surrey County Cricket Club. A phone call out of the blue from a Zimbabwean great alerted him to the possibility of coaching the nation’s cricket team,” it read.
“His three years in charge presents an insight into the at times schizophrenic nature of cricket in this intriguing country.
“Starting at the point when Butcher was offered the job, he describes the process of moulding a team out of a dispirited and disillusioned group of players. Part cricket memoir, part travelogue, part ode to
Zimbabwe, part lament for a beautiful-but-troubled country, The Good Murungu is a fascinating insight into Zimbabwean cricket.”
The 288-paged book has a distinct green cover, perhaps resembling the cricket field and on it, Butcher and a smiling Zimbabwe cricket seamer Chris Mpofu donning the national team green training shirts takes the readers back to 2010.
Speaking to the Daily News from his England base, Butcher explains his motivation and where the images on the cover are derived from.
“The book is about my three years as Zimbabwe coach. My motivation was not having anything else to do and the belief that I had a good story to tell,” he said.
“The title of this book refers to the moment in my story when Simon, my housekeeper, thanks me for buying him a bed. ‘Sah,’ he said ‘You are a good murungu (boss).’
The target audience is cricket lovers to begin with but I hope there is enough other stuff in the book to appeal to a wider audience — probably by word of mouth.”
And about the cover, he said, “The cover? I really liked Chris and I thought the pic just summed up the title and the book so well. I think it’s made quite a striking cover. I think Chris was lovable before I met him…he’s one of those guys who becomes the soul of the team.
“Things didn’t always go well for him but he always came back with a smile and hard work. He called me dad I called him son and he always asked after his brothers and sisters (my kids)! he and guys like him were reasons why I loved the job so much no matter how hard it got.”