Former captain takes over from Kevin Curran August 27, 2007

Robin Brown appointed Zimbabwe coach

Cricinfo staff

Robin Brown, the former Zimbabwe captain, has succeeded Kevin Curran as Zimbabwe's coach. The appointment was made following Zimbabwe's 3-0 defeat to South Africa in the one-day series at home and Brown's first assignment will be the Twenty20 World Championship starting next month.

"Zimbabwe Cricket has appointed Robin Brown as the national coach, with effect from September 1, 2007," said the Zimbabwe board, which hopes that his appointment will help encourage former players to return to the team.

Brown is viewed in Zimbabwe cricket circles as a more respectable and a better unifier than Curran, whose rickety relationship with players came to the surface last year when top batsman Charles Coventry publicly criticised him and refused to ever play under his stewardship.

In a recent interview with Cricinfo, the former captain Tatenda Taibu, who has now returned to the side, said he got along better with sacked West Indian coach Phil Simmons than Curran. In replacing Curran, the Zimbabwe board seems to be responding to pressure after Curran has on several occasions come under fire for encouraging "negative cricket".

Brown, a right-handed batsman and occasional wicketkeeper, played seven one-dayers between 1983 and 1987. He captained Zimbabwe in the early 1980s and retired at the end of the 1989-90 season. He later became the head groundsman of the Harare Sports Club. He, along with Alastair Campbell, were assistant coaches to the Zimbabwe team at the last World Cup in the Caribbean.

Brown is highly-regarded within Zimbabwe cricket, and has helped nurture young talent during his time at Harare Sports Club. Until his latest appointment, he held the title of national coaching manager, a position in which he headed all coaches in the country and oversaw coaching programmes. Ian Kemp, his assistant, could replace him as head groundsman at Harare.

"I am very lucky to get the job and I am excited about it," said Brown after his appointment. "The guys are currently on a high. I hope I can continue with the rebuilding and get some positive results for Zimbabwe."

Curran coached Zimbabwe for 42 one-dayers since taking over from Phil Simmons in August 2005 and in that period, the team won nine and lost 28 games. The Zimbabwe board stated that Curran had been reassigned but weren't specific about his new role.

ZC hopes that Brown's appointment - coupled with Taibu's return - will encourage former players to come out of the cold, especially those still based in Zimbabwe. Although they were not totally humiliated in the 3-0 series whitewash by South Africa, Zimbabwe still remains short of top players.

According to board sources it is now highly likely that Taibu will be reinstated as captain at the expense of Prosper Utseya, who is considered too reserved for the leadership. "This will allow Prosper to concentrate on his personal performance as a key bowler for the team," said the source.