Zimbabwean cricket hero Kevin Curran dies

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Zimbabwe national team selector and former fast bowler Kevin Curran has died at the age of 53.

Curran, who had been coaching Zimbabwean franchise Mashonaland Eagles, collapsed while jogging in Mutare yesterday morning, with the exact cause of death yet to be 

Curran also served as national team coach of Zimbabwe between 2005 and 2007.

Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa said: “We are still in shock. Kevin was the epitome of health and we have yet to make sense of this tragic loss.

“KC’s past and continued contribution to the game of cricket is unquestionable and dates as far back as his playing days up until the phenomenal work he had been doing at Mash Eagles. The cricket fraternity has been dealt a great blow.”

Curran made his international debut in 1980 and took part in tours of Sri Lanka and England in addition to the 1983 and 1987 ICC Cricket World Cups. A middle-order batsman, he played county cricket for Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire until retiring at the end of 1999.

He briefly headed the Namibia national team before returning to Zimbabwe in 2004 to become director of coaching at the CFX Cricket Academy in Harare, before later replacing Phil Simmons as national coach.

Mash Eagles chief executive officer Vimbai Mapukute said: “I have yet to meet a man more passionate about cricket in this country.

“KC had put his heart and soul into developing our franchise and had great plans for our high performance gym and other facilities. His passing will leave a huge void at Mash Eagles and I feel that I have not only lost a key business ally but a friend as well.”

Mash Eagles took the decision to postpone yesterday’s match against Mountaineers.

Cricket South Africa’s acting chief executive, Jacques Faul, said: “It is very sad news. He is well remembered for his brief 
playing stint in this country for KwaZulu-Natal and Boland where he always played the game to the best professional standards.

“His biggest contribution to cricket in Southern Africa has, however, come in the huge contribution he has made to returning the Zimbabwe first-class game back to strength. He had a period as senior coach with the Zimbabwean national side and was also heavily involved at Academy and franchise level where he was the coach of the Mashonaland Eagles at the time of his passing.

“On behalf of the CSA family, I extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at Zimbabwe Cricket.”