BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Zimbabwe cricket (ZC) is reportedly looking to lure former South African express bowler Dale Steyn to join the national team set-up as bowling coach after dropping Douglas Hondo in the technical team shake-up announced on Monday.
The ZC board held a virtual meeting where a resolution was made to rope in another former South African star lance Klusener as batting coach while Stuart Matsikenyeri was elevated to the position of assistant coach.
Indian Lalchand Rajput was retained as the head coach but conspicuously there was no bowling coach as well as fitness trainer in the new set-up.
ZC said the appointment of personnel to fill the vacant technical positions with the various national teams will be finalised in due course.
However, sources told NewsDay Sport that ZC was targeting former Australian seamer Shaun Tait who was recently appointed as bowling coach for the Pakistan cricket team.
It is understood that ZC has set its sights on Steyn, who represented South Africa in 93 Tests, 196 ODIs and 47 T20i and claimed 699 wickets in an international career spanning close to two decades.
During his playing days, the 38-year-old was endowed with extreme pace, the ability to swing the ball both ways, and accuracy all of which made him one of the most feared fast bowlers on the international stage.
Steyn officially announced his retirement from international cricket in August 2021, having last represented South Africa in a T20i match against Australia in February 2020.
If it is true and Zimbabwe eventually get their man, Steyn will become the second high-profile former South African fast bowler to assume that role for the national team in recent years.
In January 2016, ZC managed to bring in Makhaya Ntini bowling coach on a two-year contract before giving him the role of interim head coach a few months later.
Zimbabwe are looking to strengthen their technical team ahead of crucial ICC Cricket World Cup Super League fixtures against India and Australia later this year while tours with Ireland and Afghanistan are also a possibility.
The country’s chances of earning an automatic ticket to the World Cup via the Super League are slim as the country sits 11th on the 13-team log standings with three wins in 12 matches.
Only the top eight countries earn automatic qualification to the 2023 World Cup set for India.
Zimbabwe Cricket managing director, Givemore Makoni, told the State media that they are also in talks with Ireland, South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh, India and Australia.
Shepherd Makunura is the fielding coach in the new technical team while Mufaro Chiturumani is team analyst while Travor Wambe is the physiotherapist.
Dilip Chouhan occupies the position of team manager and Solomon Madzogo is the team doctor.
The cricket board also resolved to include former Zimbabwe big hitting all-rounder Elton Chigumbura in the men’s senior national team selection panel which also includes Prosper Utseya and Gavin Ewing, with Dave Mutendera as the convener of selectors.
Adam Chifo was relieved of his duties as the women’s senior team coach and was replaced by former Zimbabwe medium pacer Gary Brent who will be deputised by Sinikiwe Mpofu.
Craig Ervine was appointed the substantive ODI and T20i teams’ captain having been in the same role in an acting capacity while batsman Regis Chakabva,
who has been impressive with the bat for Zimbabwe, is now the vice-captain in all three formats of the game.
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