National cricket team batting consultant Marvan Atapattu has ruled out taking the Zimbabwe batting coach job on a long-term basis, at least in the foreseeable future.BY Kevin Mapasure
Atapattu arrived in Harare on Sunday and was part of the team’s work-out yesterday ahead of the World T20 tournament that will be hosted in India.
Zimbabwe are on the hunt for a batting coach and it was hoped that after the former Sri Lanka coach’s stint as a consultant, the arrangement could be changed to a long-term contract.
However, Atapattu yesterday told NewsDay Sport that while he is ready to go into a similar arrangement, where he can come in as a consultant for a short period, he was not ready to commit long haul.
He said that after the Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh where he joined the technical team as a batting consultant for 10 days, he and Zimbabwe Cricket had come up with a similar arrangement to run until the end of the global showcase in India.
“We have something similar to what we had before and it will last until the end of the World T20 campaign,” Atapattu said. “One thing for sure is that at this stage of my life it will be difficult for me to commit to a place that I have to travel nine to 15 hours from home. Whatever I have to do, it has to be a short term.”
He, however, said he wants to stay in the game and may be available for Zimbabwe in the future.
“My future depends with Zimbabwe. If they can devote time for it, I would like to stay in the game in one way or another”
On the upcoming tournament, Atapattu said Zimbabwe was one of the countries that could cause a few upsets.
“In T20, there are no guarantees, they (Zimbabwe) are not the favourites, but it does not mean they can’t do well, this is an unpredictable and uncertain format.
A team like Zimbabwe can go there and make a huge upset.”
He said he was impressed by the levels of talent, but he wanted to help them on how they should apply their minds.
“Zimbabwe has got good batsmen who can change games. We have always had good batsmen here like Andy Flower and Dave Houghton, but they do not get due recognition because they play for Zimbabwe. They need more game time and we will see more stars emerging. There is no question about talent, everybody playing at this level has talent, be it Zimbabwe or Bangladesh or Sri Lanka, it is about how you apply yourself. That thought process differentiates one batsman from another. All these things come through experience and exposure playing quality cricket, you also need advice and guidance.”
Atapattu said the Zimbabwe batsmen, who have always struggled playing in the sub-continent, needed to apply themselves better if they were to achieve success.
‘For this tournament, it is about getting your mind and narrow your focus on what you want to achieve. It is something that I will try to inculcate in the batsmen.”