Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is locked in negotiations with former captain Heath Streak who is earmarked to take over as the national team coach following the departure of Dav Whatmore who was sacked in April this year. By Kevin Mapasure
While ZC was accepting applications for the post up until Friday last week, it has been learnt that the organisation is leaning towards appointing Streak, who once worked as a bowling coach in the team and left in 2013 after his contract expired.
He was appointed bowling coach for the Bangladesh national team and left the position this year for part-time work in India.
The former Zimbabwe all-rounder revealed in an interview with an Indian-based website, Sport360, his desire to shift from just being a specialist coach to leading the technical team.
“I would like to evolve to a head coach’s positions and gain more experience. I really love the IPL and hopefully, in another year or two, I can take the next step, going from a specialist coach to a head coaching position,” he said in the interview in June.
At that time, he opined that it was the right move for Zimbabwe to look for another coach following a difficult period under Australian Whatmore who was sacked over poor results.
“From an outsider’s perspective, they (Zimbabwe) have had a bit of a lean patch lately. So I don’t think it’s totally unwarranted for Zimbabwe Cricket to look at ways in which they can improve. I think getting a person like Lance Klusener is a good thing.”
ZC is looking to take advantage of Streak’s desire to be a head coach and to him it will also be a good launchpad for his career.
ZC has this week said the process to find a new coach had not been completed since the call for applications only closed last week.
But sources told Independent Sport that contract negotiations were at an advanced stage with Streak likely to take up the post before Zimbabwe take on Sri Lanka in two Tests starting next month.
The cricket body, led by board chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani, is however seized with another problem as players continued to stay away from training yesterday, pressing for new contracts and outstanding match fees.
A group of players’ representatives had a meeting with managing director Wildred Mukondiwa who is going to address all players this morning at Harare Sports Club with the hope that training can continue.
Former South African fast bowler Makhaya Ntini is in charge of the team in an acting capacity and is expected to revert to his role as bowling coach once a substantive head coach is appointed.
He was in charge when Zimbabwe played and lost against India in a limited overs series in June before they were soundly beaten by New Zealand in a two-match Test series.
Ntini had been expected to take over as national team coach but it is those series against India and New Zealand that put him out of favour.
Some of the national team players are expected to feature for Zim A during Pakistan A’s visit starting next week.