Zimbabwe in Bangladesh, 2006-7 December 6, 2006

Pressure grows on Curran after defeats

Zimbabwe have slumped to three heavy defeats in the one-day series against Bangladesh © Getty Images
Zimbabwe's one-day series defeat to Bangladesh is set to open another can of worms with the board and local cricket followers infuriated by the team's poor performance. Zimbabwe went down to their third straight defeat at Bogra, on Tuesday, handing the series over with two matches left.

Pressure on the coach Kevin Curran has quickly resurfaced and the board, which previously backed him when he came under siege from former board member Crispen Tsvarayi and the former head of selectors Bruce Makovah, has also become edgy. The humiliating loss to Bangladesh could be the final straw.

Curran is not alone, though. Calls to axe under-performing players - a riot act was reportedly read by selectors before the tour - have grown by the day since Zimbabwe lost the first ODI by nine wickets.

Sources have told Cricinfo the board wanted Curran to stay on until the World Cup, but there are now whispers in the corridors of Zimbabwe Cricket power that he is a contributing factor to the team's slide.

The defeats are dreadfully timed. The board is making frantic efforts to be seen to nurture a team that will be competitive when it finally returns to Test cricket at the end of next year.

Many blame the board for the team's continuing plunge, and it is feared that more players may quit the team to run away from taking stick on their own while the Peter Chingoka regime exonerates itself. Vusi Sibanda, the opening batsman, has already missed two tours with Zimbabwe after deciding to play league cricket in Australia where he is reportedly performing well.