ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) has thrown its full weight behind national team coach Dav Whatmore despite his side’s failure to progress to the Super 10 stage of the ICC World Twenty20 competition in India last week. BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
While hinting that there might be a need to look elsewhere in terms of playing personnel, ZC board chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said they were looking to strengthen the technical department.
The national cricket team was bundled out of the ICC World T20 showcase before the main competition had even started after succumbing to a 57-run defeat to associate side Afghanistan in Nagpur last Saturday.
In an interview with NewsDaySport from India yesterday, Mukuhlani said his board would maintain support for Whatmore whom they believe is the right coach to turn around the fortunes of Zimbabwean cricket.
“We are not looking to make any changes to the current technical department; in any case, we are looking at strengthening it,” Mukuhlani said yesterday.
“Whatmore and his team have done a good job. They tried their best, it’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t manage to get a positive result in the last match. I believe we have the right personnel in place. We brought in Makhaya Ntini before the World T20 and his impact on our bowling department was evident especially during the match against Scotland where the bowlers really came to the party.
“As ZC, we felt we played our part to make sure the team had the best possible preparations ahead of the tournament. We thought we had played enough T20 cricket to prepare, but unfortunately we couldn’t manage to progress to the Super 10 stage. At the moment we need to calm the emotions.
“Everyone is disappointed yes, but we need sit down to map the way forward,” he said.
Whatmore, who penned a four-year deal with ZC last year, has struggled for positive results with the national side. However, many believe the man, who masterminded Sri Lanka’s World Cup win in 1996 before enjoying success with Bangladesh and Pakistan, needs to be given more time.
Mukuhlani said despite the recent struggles, he was optimistic about the state of the game in Zimbabwe following the national Under-19 team’s performance at the recent World Cup in Bangladesh.
“The only comforting part is that the future looks bright especially with our Under-19s doing so well at the recent World Cup. We will work hard to ensure they are given the proper support so that they progress well to the senior side. We also have good players in the current side and it’s just a matter of coming up with the right formula as we look ahead to the 2018 World Cup,” he said.