ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) has axed both coach, Dav Whatmore and captain, Hamilton Masakadza and replaced them with Makhaya Ntini and Graeme Cremer, respectively, while Tatenda Taibu has been roped in as convenor of selectors.
BY KEVIN MAPASURE
The selection panel has been restructured and it will comprise only of the coach, his assistant and the convenor.
Former South Africa international, Lance Klusener has also joined the technical team on a two-year contract, as the batting coach.
Whatmore’s 16 month reign came to an end yesterday, with ZC citing a poor World T20 campaign, where the team failed to qualify for the main tournament after a defeat to Afghanistan in the qualifiers.
Both Ntini, who came in this year as a bowling coach, and Cremer have taken up the new roles on an interim basis.
Ntini will prepare the team for their upcoming tour against India, which starts on June 11 in Harare.
“The Zimbabwe Cricket board has made some changes following its review of the technical reports on the senior men’s performance at the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 tournament, which was hosted by India earlier this year,” reads ZC’s statement. “Head coach, Davenell Whatmore has had his contract terminated with immediate effect. Bowling coach Makhaya Ntini has taken over in an acting capacity until the appointment of a substantive head coach. To strengthen the senior men’s technical set-up, the board has appointed former South Africa international, Lance Klusener, as the batting coach for two years, with effect from June 5, 2016. The board has also restructured the national selection panel, to comprise the convener, the senior men’s national team head coach and his assistant.”
ZC said they were hoping Taibu would be able to use his influence to entice other former Zimbabwe players to return to cricket.
“Former national captain, Tatenda Taibu has been appointed the new convener. He will have additional responsibilities in development and high performance, and will also assist ZC in bringing former Zimbabwe players back into local cricket,” the statement continued.
“Following the review, the board has also relieved Zimbabwe top-order batsman Hamilton Masakadza of the captaincy for all three formats of the game. His deputy, Graeme Cremer, will act in the interim.”
While the appointment of a batting coach or Masakadza’s sacking may not have come as a surprise, it is the axing of Whatmore, who had seven more months left on his deal that may come as a shock.
But results have not been coming for Zimbabwe during Whatmore’s reign.
At the 2015 International Cricket Council World Cup, Zimbabwe only won one match against United Arab Emirates, but lost to West Indies, South Africa, India, Pakistan and Ireland to bow out in the Group stages.
Under the former Bangladesh and Pakistan coach, Zimbabwe only won one series, when they hosted Ireland last year, with a 2-1 victory.
They lost an ODI series to India last year 3-0 before forcing a T20 series draw.
Zimbabwe recorded another ODI series defeat against New Zealand, falling 2-1 before they lost the solitary T20 international in that tour.
But it is the back to back series losses against Afghanistan that set off alarm bells.
The associate side toured Zimbabwe and claimed a 3-2 ODI series win before they produced a T20 whitewash victory.
Afghanistan hosted Zimbabwe in the United Arab Emirates in December, where the hosts prevailed 3-2 and 2-0 in the ODI and T20 series, respectively.
A 3-0 whitewash defeat in Bangladesh followed before the two nations played out a 1-1 T20 series draw.
Zimbabwe toured Pakistan in May and lost both the ODI and T20 series by an identical 2-0 score line.
Pakistan later toured Zimbabwe and claimed a 2-nil T20 series win followed by a 2-1 ODI victory.