With barely two months left before a crucial Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group II playoff encounter against Moldova, Tennis Zimbabwe has confirmed that Wayne Black will have a role to play with the selection committee set to decide his role in the next few weeks.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Black’s desire to help the Zimbabwe Davis Cup team is well-documented as he is on record saying he was available should TZ need his experience and expertise, but this time in a non-playing position.
Zimbabwe, who suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to Bosnia/Herzegovina in March, will be desperate to remain in the more exciting Group II when they host 51st ranked Moldova at Harare Sports Club from July 17 to 19.
Against Bosnia-Herzegovina the legendary Black made a sensational comeback from retirement at the age of 41 as he was named part of the team captained by Martin Dzuwa although he lost the doubles rubber partnering Mark Finn.
That match became his swansong again as he announced his retirement immediately after the loss while blaming himself for the defeat.
Speaking to Standardsport, TZ president Regis Bhunu hinted that Black could be given a role when the Davis Cup team selection committee meets in the near future.
“I am not sure whether we will field a different team from the one that played the last time, but that decision will be made by the selection committee which is likely going to meet sometime next week. I wouldn’t want to preempt on the role Wayne Black will play but I think he will get a role where he can be of help to the team,” he said.
Bhunu could not hide TZ’s desire to remain in the Euro/Africa Group II.
“We do not want to go back to the lower group. This is where we want to be, where Zimbabweans can have an opportunity to be able to host the best players in the world and we will do anything to keep our place,” he said.
Currently Dzuwa is the Zimbabwe captain and in an earlier interview with this publication he expressed the desire to keep the team that faced Bosnia/Herzegovina if he was still the captain by the time Moldova visited.
The Zimbabwe team comprised the country’s top ranked player Takanyi Garanganga, US-based Benjamin Lock, Mark Finn and Black in the last encounter.
A defeat for 75th ranked Zimbabwe against Moldova will mean relegation into the less fashionable Euro/Africa Zone Group III where they graduated from in September last year.
Meanwhile, TZ has stepped up preparation for the play off against Moldova having already secured $20 000 of the $60 000 budget required to successfully host the European visitors.
The TZ president revealed that his association was running around to raise the remaining $40 000 needed to meet the budget to successfully host Moldova in July, while pleading with corporate organisations to come forward and assist.
“We have stepped up fundraising to make sure we meet our budget mark but it is not easy because our environment is difficult for companies and we are going back to the same people who helped us the last time,” Bhunu said.