ZIMBABWE Cricket selector Wayne James has been fired after differences with fellow selectors over the axing of Test skipper Brendan Taylor for the third one-day internationals (ODI) against South Africa last week.
The Bulawayo-born former national team cricketer was part of the selection committee comprising of head coach Stephen Mangongo and the all powerful and often controversial convener Givemore Makoni.
James, who played four Tests and 11 ODIs for Zimbabwe as a wicketkeeper-batsman, said his dismissal came after a heated selection meeting on Wednesday in which he argued against the axing of Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza.
Although Masakadza was later spared the axe, Taylor was subsequently dropped from the playing XI for the third ODI against South Africa last Thursday.
“Apparently I was told on Friday that my services are no longer required on the selection committee,” the 49-year-old, who was also the coach at Matabeleland Tuskers, told NewsDay Sport yesterday from his base in Bulawayo.
“I received the letter from the Zimbabwe Cricket managing director [Wilfred Mukondiwa] on Friday stating that I had been removed from the selection committee as well as other committees, but I wasn’t given any official reason for my dismissal.”
James said it seemed he had been dismissed from the committee for disagreeing with the other members of the committee.
“It is the timing of my dismissal which is quite strange as it came after we had a very heated selection meeting last Wednesday before the final ODI against South Africa.
“The other selectors wanted to drop both Hamilton and Brendan, a move that I strongly argued against as I felt they had not done anything which warranted them to be dropped.
“It’s normal for any selection committee all over the world to have these disagreements, but unfortunately it seems that is the reason why I have been dismissed.”
James said he had been left in the dark over his future and was not certain if he would stay as the Tuskers coach.
“It’s quite sad that I have been given no reason for my dismissal. At the moment I have no idea if I’m going to stay on as Tuskers coach or my services are no longer required. I also have a family to look after and children to send to school and to be honest if an opportunity comes I will have no choice, but to take it,” he said.
James was always going to feel isolated on the committee considering that his then fellow members Makoni and Mangongo are close colleagues from Takashinga Cricket Club where they are co-founders.
The national team has been basically reduced to a Takashinga/Harare boys’ club.