SAD NEWS: Mpofu dies, dark cloud hovers over Zimbabwe

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ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) has once again been plunged into mourning following the death of women’s national team assistant coach and former all-rounder, Sinikiwe “Sneeze” Mpofu who passed on yesterday morning.

While there was no official word from ZC on Mpofu’s death, family members and some within the local cricket structures confirmed Mpofu had indeed passed on.

Her untimely death comes barely a month after the passing on of her husband, senior men’s national team fielding coach Shepherd Makunura who died on 15 December.

The former Lady Chevrons star is said to have collapsed at her home in Masvingo and was pronounced dead upon arrival in hospital. She was an integral part of women’s cricket in the country having also been involved in the development of the game.

Mpofu was 37 and turning 38 next month at the time of her death and will be remembered for being the first Zimbabwean female cricketer to transition from being a player to a national team coach.

ZC had excused (compassionate leave to mourn her husband) her from duty with the Under-19 women’s team which is in South Africa for the ICC Under-19 World Cup.

Mpofu grew up in Bulawayo’s high density suburb of Njube, went to Mtshede Primary School and Mpopoma High School. She was part of the Lady Chevrons team that played the country’s 2008 World Cup Qualifiers.

Mpofu was also in the Lady Chevrons technical team.

She also took part in Zimbabwe’s first ever international match in 2006. Mpofu played cricket at Mpopoma with her former classmates, Siphathisiwe Moyo and Thandolwenkosi Mlilo. The trio went on to represent Zimbabwe and also took up cricket scoring.

Some of Mpofu’s best performances during her playing days came against Kenya in Nairobi in December 2010 where she scored 21 runs and finished with bowling figures of 3/15 in the match. Mpofu was also in the Lady Chevrons technical team that fell short of booking the country’s first ever appearance at the World Cup when the Gary Brent mentored Lady Chevrons finished third at the 2022 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier held in September last year in the United Arab Emirates. It served as the qualification tournament for the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup tournament taking place in South Africa next month.

Had Zimbabwe secured a top two finish, they would have booked a ticket to South Africa.
Mourners in Bulawayo are gathered at her family home at A456 Njube suburb.

— Sunday News

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