Zimbabwe news May 31, 2016

Zimbabwe sack Masakadza, Whatmore

ESPNcricinfo staff

Hamilton Masakadza has been sacked as Zimbabwe captain, four months after taking over the role © IDI/Getty Images

Zimbabwe have sacked captain Hamilton Masakadza and head coach Dav Whatmore, following the board's review of the team's performance at the World T20 in March. ZC has given legspinner Graeme Cremer and Makhaya Ntini the interim roles of captain and head coach respectively, while appointing Lance Klusener as batting coach on a two-year contract.

The board also restructured the selection panel, which will now consist of a convener, the head coach, and the assistant coach. Tatenda Taibu, the former Zimbabwe captain, was appointed convener, and according to a ZC release, "will have additional responsibilities in development and high performance, and will also assist ZC in bringing former Zimbabwe players back into local cricket."

Taibu returns to Zimbabwe cricket after four years, having retired at the age of 29 to pursue a career as a pastor. He had recently been playing club cricket in the UK.

The loss of captaincy completed a strange few months for Masakadza: he was dropped in October 2015, then came back, scored heavily and took over the captaincy in all three formats following Elton Chigumbura's resignation in January.

He had a modest World T20, scoring 20, 12 and 11, and was run out twice, exemplifying an error-prone Zimbabwe side that failed to reach the Super 10 stage of the tournament. Cremer, one of Zimbabwe's most consistent performers leading up to the World T20, had missed the tournament with a fractured left forearm.

The former Australia batsman Whatmore, who previously coached Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan, took over as Zimbabwe's head coach in December 2014, after Steve Mangongo's sacking following a fractious five-month term. Ntini, the former South Africa fast bowler, was appointed as Whatmore's assistant in January 2016. ESPNcricinfo understands Mangongo is the frontrunner to take over again as head coach in the coming months.

Klusener, the former South Africa allrounder, has had prior involvement with Zimbabwe cricket. He played for the Mutare-based Mountaineers franchise in 2010, when he was one of the big-name signings for the Stanbic T20. Like many of the internationals who played in that event, Klusener was not paid in full and was understood to still be owed money by ZC several years after the tournament. His latest coaching assignment came to an end in February, when he was sacked by the South African domestic franchise Dolphins. Before that, he served a short stint as a lower-order batting consultant to South Africa's Test side ahead of their home series against England.