HARARE – Respected Zimbabwe sports administrator Mark Manolios has described Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC)’s life honorary president Alwyn Pichanick who passed away in Australia this week as a legend.
Pichanick succumbed to cancer. He was 84.
He is largely credited for putting the then Zimbabwe Cricket Union on the International Cricket Council map after the country was awarded Test status in 1992, two years after leaving the ZCU board.
He is set to be buried in Australia tomorrow. An astute barrister with the country’s reputable law firm Wintertons, Pichanick served in the ZCU as board president between 1976 and 1990 having earlier worked as the national selector between 1962 and 1975 when Rhodesia was an affiliate of the South African board playing in the Currie Cup.
He was also the first Sports and Recreation Commission board chairperson when it was constituted in 1991 and served in the same board with Manolios.
“He was a lovable and very capable cricket administrator known throughout the world. He was a legend, did great works and was also involved in the Zimbabwe Sports Council Enquiry on the recommendation of the President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe with Tommy Sithole his chairperson,” Manolios told the Daily News.
“He was dedicated and was married for the second time to Bryony Williamson who was a national team hockey player, his son David played hockey for Zimbabwe while Trevor his other son is an opera singer in German.
“Always very soft spoken, I never saw Alwyn losing his temper; he was a legend and managed to keep his cool and not a bad guy like us.
“He was the boss of Wintertons and a very competent lawyer, a former Member of Parliament. Whenever anybody had a problem they would always ask ‘what does Alwyn think about it?’ and get to him for his wise counsel.”
Zimbabwe Cricket board chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani described the late Pichanick as a mentor and fountain of wisdom.
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of … Pichanick, a wonderful man who impacted the lives of many as an excellent and dedicated sport administrator, shrewd lawyer, community leader, counsellor or friend,” Mukuhlani told the Daily News.
“As one of his protégés, I have fond memories from the time I worked with him during my days with the then Mashonaland Cricket Association.
“I was young and he was a veteran administrator and our patron, but he always had the time and patience to accommodate my energy and exuberance. What I learnt from his wealth of knowledge, views and perspectives will always be fundamental for my understanding of the world. Pichanick, together with Peter Chingoka, mentored me well and they created a pathway for me in cricket administration.
“Pichanick’s enormous contributions to the game of cricket are well-documented. He fully understood the need for integration in cricket and played an instrumental role in the transformation of the game in this country.
“Not only was he a great fatherly figure always ready to impart advice on cricket issues, from time to time he also gave us free legal advice. His death is thus, a big loss not just to his family, but to me personally, the cricket fraternity and the nation at large. May his soul rest in peace.”