Former national cricket team captain Prosper Utseya is being considered for a coaching job with the Under-19 national side currently preparing for the World Cup to be held in Bangladesh next year. By Kevin Mapasure
Of the coaching positions in the age group, only the head coach’s position filled by Steve Mangongo has been occupied.
Utseya is being considered for the position of bowling coach and if he is appointed, that could spell the end of his international career. His career has hit the rocks as he has been dropped from the national team.
He was first dropped during the Zimbabwe-Pakistan series at the beginning of the month before he was left out in the series against Ireland. This week he was overlooked for the Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.
The Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board is yet to finalise the coaching structure but head coach Mangongo said if Utseya was to be appointed, he would add value to the coaching set up.
“All appointments will be done by the board after considering recommendations from the Cricket Committee, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Utseya was one of the people they were looking at,” said Mangongo.
“He is one the best cricket brains we have in Zimbabwe and he would help the youngsters. I would be happy working with him, but what I am not sure of is whether he is ready to quit playing and go into coaching.”
Utseya is working behind the scenes on his offspin hoping he can make the required adjustments and resurrect his seemingly faltering international career.
He was banned from bowling his offspin by the Interantional Cricket Council in December last year and despite reinventing himself with a different bowling style, he has not been as effective.
“I have been working on my offspin, I have been doing it on my own I know what is required so that’s what I am trying to achieve,” said Utseya.
He has sought inspiration by trying to follow the footsteps of other offspinners that have been banned before but later had their bans lifted, among them, Kane Williamson of New Zealand and Sri Lanka’s Sachithra Senanayake.
Both were banned in July last year but they have since been allowed to bowl offspin again.
“I have videos of other offspinners that have been banned before and have had it lifted, so I am trying to look at what they changed. So far I have noticed a few things on the arm rotation and that my front arm was dropping too early. I need to work on the rotation first then the next thing will be landing the ball in the right place.
‘I have made some progress and I have been sending Dougie (Hondo) the videos. It’s just that he is a bit busy with the national team now. I am taking my time I am not rushing myself and when I am satisfied with the progress I will go back for assessment.”