ZIMBABWE Cricket has restructured both its administrative and technical departments in a bid to build a competitive national team to improve results as well as to uplift the association from its current financial troubles.
SENIOR SPORTS REPORTER
ZC board chairman Wilson Manase yesterday addressed a Press conference and confirmed that a new post of managing director (Cricket) had been created.
Alistair Campbell has already held discussions with ZC, but Manase said they were keen to interview other candidates.
However, it looks like Campbell has already landed the crucial position as first reported in our sister paper The Independent last Friday.
The move is not necessarily consequent of the disastrous Bangladesh tour where the national team suffered a whitewash in both the Tests and one-day international series, but it could prove to be a popular decision among cricket fans who have demanded the participation of former players in the technical aspects of the game.
Campbell has been critical of Zimbabwe’s technical set up which he argued was too thin on Test experience.
However, it looks like head coach Steve Mangongo’s job is safe for now and the only change could be the beefing up of the technical team with former players.
Manase would not be drawn to comment much on the future of the technical team, but said they would wait for a report from coaches, the players and the selectors before making any decisions.
ZC is on the prowl for a batting coach with Douglas Hondo having already been appointed bowling coach.
Mangongo will work under the director of coaching, a position held by former national team coach Andy Waller.
Manase said the new structure, which was adopted at their last board meeting on Friday, was aimed at improving the results of the national teams as well as to enhance the development of the sport.
“We have had to make the changes so that we move forward,” said Manase.
“We have to strengthen the cricket side of it while also improving administratively. That is why we have said for the position of Managing Director Cricket, we want somebody that has played cricket before at the highest level. On the international front, cricket is changing. We have associate nations pushing to break into top ten and we have to up our game.”
He said that in 2019, participation in the World Cup was not guaranteed and the team would need to improve on their rankings to avoid the misfortune of not participating at the global showcase where they would lose out on important revenue.
Teams ranked outside the top eight will have to go through play-offs to qualify for the tournament.
“High performance is required now to stay at the top. So we are making immediate changes in order for the results to improve. We will do anything and everything to get the results and everybody will need to perform their duty otherwise we will act accordingly.”
The director of coaching’s main thrust will be to identify and develop talent to widen the pool of selection for the national team.
Lack of adequate sponsorship remains ZC’s major handicap and Manase said his administration would work on a tight budget while devoting most of the resources to improving results on the pitch.
“Our major problem is lack of adequate finance. We have sponsorship and we are grateful, but it is not enough. Even the franchises are struggling. We have set out a programme. However, that will see us out of the red by 2019.”
The re-engagement with the England and Wales Cricket Board ECB, which could see Zimbabwe play England in 2018, will also see the ZC’s finances receive a major boost from television rights.
He added that his board would aggressively drive to give the national team more matches.
According to the current Future Tours Programme, Zimbabwe will only play Test cricket in 2016 when they tour Bangladesh again.
But ZC is discussing with Pakistan and South Africa for possible tours next year to fill in the vast void.