Zimbabwe news March 30, 2009

Houghton returns to Zimbabwe in coaching role

Zimbabwe's gradual rehabilitation received another boost with news that former captain and coach Dave Houghton will be returning to work as director of national coaching.

Houghton was one of many who turned his back on the crumbling Zimbabwe cricket scene, but he will resume in August. All that needs to be sorted are contractual details, but a source close to the board said it was in effect a done deal.

His job is not full-time and will take up around five months of the year during which time he will act as technical director to national team and age-group coaches and ensuring there is a uniform approach throughout.

Houghton's presence will give an invaluable experienced edge to the coaching set-up. Aside from his unquestionable pedigree as a player, he has overseen the national side as well as enjoyed spells with Derbyshire and Worcestershire.

He will continue to keep his main home in England and it is not thought likely that he could be tempted into taking on the post of national coach which has been an ongoing worry for the board for some time. The parlous state of the country as a whole, and the cricket structure in particular, has made it almost impossible for the board to hire anyone of any quality.

Steven Price is a freelance journalist based in Harare