Zimbabwe newspaper labelling UAE as 'rag-tag team of amateurs' is 'grossly unfair', says Dougie Brown

Denzil Pinto 15:47 24/03/2018
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Praise for his players: Dougie Brown was delighted with how his team played in Zimbabwe

Head coach Dougie Brown has hit back at a Zimbabwe newspaper for describing his side as “a rag-tag team of amateurs” after the African country’s World Cup dream was ended by the UAE on Thursday.

The Herald, Zimbabwe’s most-prominent daily publication, published a piece on their back page on Friday morning criticising their national team’s exit.

“Out of respect for 15 million Zimbabweans around the world and 15,000 fans who packed Harare Sport Club to capacity, still being tormented by the dumping of the ‘Choking Chevrons’ from the World Cup from a rag-tag team of amateurs from the United Arab Emirates, we won’t show you any picture on this front page from that disaster but just this black background to mourn the day our cricket died, a slow and painful death,” it read.

The UAE, who turned professional in July 2016, put on a fine performance to win by three runs for their first victory against a Test nation. Zimbabwe needed to beat either the West Indies or the UAE to reach next year’s cricketing showpiece in England and Wales but were beaten by Brown’s men, while Afghanistan turned over Ireland on Friday to end their chances.

Brown responded back on Twitter prior to their departure on Friday night and after arriving in Dubai on Saturday morning, opened up on why he felt the newspaper was ‘grossly unfair’ to his team.

“I think we have shown so many positive things over the course over the tournament,” said the 48-year-old. “We played a very good game and we have proved to many people that we can be a force to be reckoned with.

“The comment from the newspaper was clearly that they were reeling from the fact that they didn’t qualify for the World Cup. I can’t do anything about that.

“But to call us ‘a rag-tag team of amateurs’ was grossly unfair and anyone who has saw that match will actually justify that, we’re not that and we’re far better than that.

“Not only did we win the game but over the course of the match, we deserved to win it because we showed better skill, more willingless to win. It’s grossly unfair to brand us what they did and that was why I was vocal in what I said.”

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