THE entire technical team of the Zimbabwe national cricket side are on the brink of losing their jobs, following their failure to lead the team to the International Cricket Council World Cup finals, NewsDaySport has been told.
A defeat to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday last week saw Zimbabwe squander a golden opportunity to clinch the tenth and final spot to the England and Wales tournament.
Going into that match, which was Zimbabwe’s last in the Super Six stage, Zimbabwe needed to beat the minnows and qualify, but disappointingly the team succumbed to a three-run defeat in front of a shell-shocked full house at the Harare Sports Club.
After that failure, life will not go on as usual with the Zimbabwe Cricket board members, angered by the manner the team failed to qualify, have been making consultations on the way forward with things pointing to firing of the technical team.
According to well-placed sources the board is not happy with the way the technical team’s approach to the crucial United Arab Emirates match, who prior to the Zimbabwe match had not collected any points in the Super Six stage.
It was the first time that the United Arab Emirates beat a Test-playing nation.
The technical team includes coach Heath Streak (pictured), batting coach Lance Klusener, fielding coach Walter Chawaguta, bowling coach Douglas Hondo and team analyst Stanley Chiwoza.
“There was a board meeting this week to review the team’s performance in the qualifiers,” said an impeccable source. “After everyone else had agreed that the team had done well and were unlucky not to qualify, portioning the blame partly to convenor of selectors Tatenda Taibu, over his stubbornness and refusal to take up the ideas of the coaches and captain, one board member dissented and argued that it was Heath Streak’s fault that the team had failed to qualify since he was the head of the technical team. After his argument everybody else agreed with him and they exonerated Taibu. It was Streak’s decisions that carried the day all the time. The board members then agreed that Streak be relieved of his duties together with his entire staff, while the fire has also consumed the Zimbabwe A, Under-19 and academy coaches. ZC will get rid of all coaches in all structures.”
There were so many questions that were raised both in that meeting and outside it, especially regarding decisions that were made for the last match that condemned Zimbabwe.
Explosive batsman Cephas Zhuwao’s omission in favour of Peter Moor who came in at number three, dominated the discussions, especially considering how the former had given the team good starts against the lesser nations in this tournament.
Moor came in and made 39 runs from 61 balls at a time Zimbabwe needed a much quicker rate that Zhuwao was more likely to provide.
There were also questions on the logic of batting Craig Ervine in the lower middle order, considering that he takes his time to peak.
The decision to bat second on a day that rains were expected around lunch time also came in to haunt the coaches.
“It was common knowledge that the rains were expected around lunch time and the coaches knew that the outfield would became slow and scoring boundaries would become difficult. What was the logic then of batting second after the rains? This is a tactical decision that is made by the coaches and they tactics failed.”
The source also said there were questions on the team batting second on a used up wicket. The same pitch had been used the previous day.
“The strategy was all wrong for this match. When you play such a small team, you can easily capitalise on scoreboard pressure. Anything you put on the board puts them under pressure. You set them even 200, any maiden puts them under pressure. So here we won the toss, wasn’t it logical to just put in United Arab Emirates to field first and make them chase?” queried the source who is a former cricketer himself.