BY KEVIN MAPASURE
Veteran Hamilton Masakadza has been retained as the Zimbabwe national cricket captain team across all three formats, while Peter Moor edged closer to taking over the role after he was named vice-captain.
With a number of Zimbabwe’s established players edging towards the twilight of their careers, Moor has been touted as the next captain, and with the latest appointment, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) showed that they could be looking at him as the future skipper.
Masakadza is 35 years old, while other senior players like former skipper Brendan Taylor, who had been lined up to take over from Graeme Cremer last year, is 32.
Taylor was going to reclaim the captaincy until he had friction with the administration over remuneration after the International Cricket Council World Cup qualifiers, where Zimbabwe failed to qualify.
Sikandar Raza, who is 32 and could have been another strong contender for the captaincy, also had his own problems with ZC.
Masakadza was only appointed captain for this season, which could see Moor taking over having gone through his orientation under the wings of the veteran, who has been playing international cricket for close to two decades now.
The right-handed batsman has played 38 Tests, 204 one-day internationals (ODIs) as well as 58 T-20s for Zimbabwe.
Over the last couple of years, Moor has firmly established himself in the team across all three formats.
The 28-year-old has represented Zimbabwe in eight Tests, 42 ODIs and 16 T-20 internationals.
In a statement yesterday, ZC said: “Following resolutions by the Zimbabwe Cricket board of directors at its last meeting, we are pleased to make the following announcements:
“1. Hamilton Masakadza has been appointed as the Zimbabwe senior men’s national cricket team captain for all three formats of the game for the 2019/20 season.
“2. Peter Joseph Moor has been appointed as the Zimbabwe senior men’s national cricket team vice-captain for all three formats of the game for the 2019/20 season.
“3. Former Zimbabwe Under-19 team manager Dilip Chouhan has been appointed as the Zimbabwe men’s national cricket teams manager. He will be in charge of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe A and Zimbabwe Under-19 national teams.
“4. Walter Chawaguta, Prosper Utseya and Kenyon Ziehl have been confirmed as substantive members of the Zimbabwe National Selection Panel. Chawaguta remains the convenor of selectors.
“The appointments are with immediate effect.”
The selection panel was first put in place on an interim basis after ZC had fired the entire technical staff following Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, losing their final match of the qualifiers to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Last August, ZC appointed Lalchand Rajput as the substantive head coach following his stint at the helm on an interim basis.
Rajput replaced Heath Streak, who was sacked following the team’s failure to make it to the World Cup finals.
He has been assisted by Douglas Hondo and Shepeherd Makunura.
ZC’s statement yesterday was silent on the issue of assistant coaches, as Makunura and Hondo were working on an interim basis since last year.
The silence on those posts has raised speculation that the ZC board might be looking to replace the duo.
Zimbabwe will embark on a busy schedule starting in April, when they tackle the UAE and Afghanistan in the limited overs versions of the game.
Thereafter, they will tour The Netherlands and Ireland in winter before hosting the West Indies in October.
They are still waiting on the Board of Control for Cricket in India to reschedule their home series, which were supposed to have taken place next month.