Zimbabwe's coach speaks out February 10, 2006

Curran: 'I'm not there to be liked by players'

Cricinfo staff

'I'm not there to be liked by players. I'm there to get results' © Getty Images
Kevin Curran, Zimbabwe's coach, has said that he does not feel the rift which emerged between him and the players during the recently-concluded strike will be an issue as Zimbabwe prepare for a five-ODI series against Kenya at the end of the month.

In an exclusive interview with the Zimbabwe Independent, Curran said the rift was largely caused by his strict disciplinarian approach. "Where that comes across is that I have strong work ethics, and there are players who did not like that," he said. "The likes of Duncan Fletcher are like that. We have to do it the way the best cricket nations in the world do it. If any of the players do not want to put up with these ethics, there is no place for them in Zimbabwe cricket.

"I'm not there to be liked by players. I'm there to get results. But anyhow I do not think that that will still be an issue. I'm the one who helped them to sort out their contract problems. They owe me something. I have helped to incentivise the players. If they play well, they will earn more money." "We have a plan for Kenya. If we stick to that, there is no ways we can lose to them again. The bottom line is that we need to prove ourselves. There is also the series involving Kenya, Bangladesh and us coming up. We need to measure ourselves against these sides."

Curran also explained that he had a good relationship with the new interim board. "They have listened to us and we have listened to them," he told the paper. "They have left the cricket matters to the cricket brains like me and Andy Pycroft [the Zimbabwe A coach]. As long as they do that, there is no problem. There seem to be trust between us and them."

Curran also revealed that he had been given the task of trying to persuade some of the players who had walked away from Zimbabwe cricket lately to return. "I have spoken to a few of them.. There are a few factors to consider, such as the Kolpak agreement. Under the Kolpak, players who have contracts elsewhere cannot play for us. We are going to ask the ICC to give us a special dispensation."

The one area where there remained some confusion, however, was that of selection. While Curran maintained that all players who had signed contracts were eligible, that seemed to clash with the views of Bruce Makovah, the head of selection. Makovah was the man responsible for the recent shambles in Mashonaland when he banned the six major clubs and picked a dire provincial side which did not contain players from any of those sides. He told the Independent that anyone picked had to play in the "official system" which seems to contradict Curran's view.

"There is an official system and people will be selected from that system," Makovah said. "We now have selection based on value, not on popularity. We will not prejudice anyone. If you prove your value you will get selected."