Zim Cricket Team Traveled With “Prophet” To World Cup For Rituals
In a surprising development, the Zimbabwe U19 national cricket team is reported to have traveled with an apostolic faith healer to the just-ended ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.
Apostolic faith healers are colloquially referred to as Prophets or Madzibaba in vernacular. The Madzibaba traveled with the Zimbabwe official delegation allegedly at the behest of the coach Prosper Utseya, so that he could perform some rituals for the team, to drive away bad luck and evil spirits.
Online news service, Kukurigo, reports that the Prophet was disguised as a mental strength coach whose duties were “helping players improve mental and emotional wellbeing”. Utseya is reported to be a devout follower of one of Zimbabwe’s many apostolic sects. A cricket insider who spoke to the publication on condition of anonymity said,
He (Utseya) disguised Madzibaba from Highfields suburb as a mental strength coach but his duties were to perform rituals on the team.
…We cannot waste time on magic. Sport is about hard work, not luck. More importantly, some members in the team are not comfortable with these rituals but they play along because they are afraid of the coach.
Unfortunately, for the Zimbabwe Cricket team, despite the presence of Madzibaba, the team did not do well, despite showing glimpses of brilliance. The Zimbabwean team was eliminated at the first Group stage after managing only a solitary win in their last match against Scotland. They lost the first two matches to Bangladesh and Pakistan,
Bangladesh were crowned the champions of the tournament.
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