Zimbabwe news April 1, 2013

Andy Waller set to become Zimbabwe coach


Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is set to announce former international Andy Waller as the new national coach. Waller will begin the job ahead of the home series against Bangladesh, which begins on April 17. He was the preferred candidate from a shortlist that included assistant coach Stephen Mangongo and current batting coach Grant Flower.

The fate of the rest of Zimbabwe's support staff is not known, ESPNcricinfo has learned. Bowling coach Heath Streak has not been informed whether his contract, which expired yesterday, will be renewed and he is not part of preparations for the series against Bangladesh. Neither Streak nor Flower traveled with the team on their recent visit to the West Indies because of a change to ZC's policy on touring parties.

Waller held the role previously, in 2009, when he was coaching manager of Zimbabwe. He had also been in charge of Namibia and the Mid-West Rhinos franchise. His first task will be to reinvigorate the players, as Zimbabwe prepare to host an international side for the first time in 18 months. They play Bangladesh in two Tests in Harare, followed by three ODIs and two Twenty20s, all in Bulawayo. Bangladesh just completed a tour of Sri Lanka, where they shared the ODI series and lost the Tests and the only T20.

Zimbabwe lost all seven matches they played in the Caribbean, which was Alan Butcher's last series as coach. The lead up to the tour had been marred by controversy. Apart from the decision to leave Streak and Flower at home, there was also an intense debate between ZC and the country's sports ministry about a new regulation concerning the composition of selection committees.

In its first proposal, the ministry wanted all selectors to be former internationals, and because the Zimbabwe coach is also a selector it would have ruled out someone like Mangongo. The regulation has been relaxed but it would have had no bearing on the appointment of Waller, who represented Zimbabwe in two Tests and 39 ODIs between 1987 and 1997.

Waller will succeed Butcher, who took over in March 2011 and oversaw Zimbabwe's return to Test cricket later that year, but they could not sustain their positive start. After beating Bangladesh in a one-off Test and an ODI series, Zimbabwe lost at home to Pakistan and New Zealand, were badly beaten in New Zealand and then had a break for a full year before touring West Indies.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dick on April 4, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Just a query to ZCF_Outkast .. you made the comment " Lay of Zimbabwe for now. They are the only African team playing Test cricket! " Really - how interesting??? Assume the players to the South of us may tend to disagree with that comment. In fact most people may tend to disagree with most of your comments ..

  • Graham on April 3, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    ZCF_OUTCAST The Irish threat is real , they have produced more players in the last 10 years capable of playing WELL at the highest level than Zimbabwe, they have a structure void of political interference and have ambitions , these are not impulsive a structured plan is in place to develop a first class set up. On the right path they will attract ICC funding and approval as well appealing to other nations as a nice, safe place to tour and play good cricket, If you think could not affect Zimbabwe Cricket, you are wrong. The coach leading the Irish SO WELL, was treated so badly by ZC that he left the country in horror.

  • Dummy4 on April 3, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    ZCF, you need to stay on top of the management methods. The sucess of teams like England can be attributed to the HUGE BACKROOM STAFF who do the research and help the players.

    if Streak and Flower were causing problems then thats the head coach/manager's role to minimise the disruptions. But some players have been happy with the help they got.

    And in the Caribean we needed the backroom staff to help the boys anticipate Shillingford...help the boys attack Chanders...

    Cricket and test cricket in Zim is in a bad state...not even sustainable as it is now

  • ZCF on April 3, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    @Kachere For decades teams were doing well without specialist coaches. Now that we have them in abundance the majority of players can neither bowl nor bat to world class standards like many generations before them. Except for fielding standards(which are attributed to T20 format not specialist coaches), cricket is suffering from a dearth of quality personnel in all countries.

    ZC is right to use them as consultants on a needs basis. Grant&Heath were causing problems for Butcher and creating divisions the amongst the players. Who needs Grant moping around and throwing his toys out of the cot when his desires are not met! He is not the head coach. The boys are better off without such characters full time.

    A head coach & assistant are fine, and unless the tours are long you don't need a fitness trainer.

    Mangongo doesn't have to whitewash Bangladesh to receive overdue plaudits. The immediate sustainability of Test cricket and the game's popularity in Zim is due in large part to him!

  • Dummy4 on April 3, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    its going to be tough against Bangladesh... Seems Mangongo got the job in the "interim". the pessimist in me thinks the ZC expect to whitewash bangladesh and credit mangongo and give him the full time job...

    Support Staff is very crucial to these tours... Anyone who does not look at that needs to stay off cricket

  • ZCF on April 3, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Ireland's attaining Test status has got nothing to do with Zimbabwe's fortunes in the field of play so stop bringing them into the picture. If Ireland comply with ICC they will be voted in. The reason they don't have Test status is because they don't meet the minimum requirements. Period! Zimbabwe's results however bad don't change that fact.

    They are a cricketing nation distinct from Bangladesh, Ireland & Afghanistan. Their fortunes on the field of play shouldn't be a factor as far as their Test status is concerned, particularly if they don't have much game time.

    They have a healthy FC competition since 2009 and beat Bangladesh and pushed Pak&NZ at home on that basis. It's pointless to refer to their distant past as their 2nd existence as a Test nation is recent 2011! That's not a long time. You defeatists can check back in 2020. Lay of Zimbabwe for now. They are the only African team playing Test cricket!

  • Dick on April 2, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    All the best Bundu .. going to be extremely tough but if anyone can do it then you can .. at least discipline will improve ..

  • Adi on April 2, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    The difference between a good and a bad Zimbabwe side is the presence of 7 colored players. Unless and until the selection policy is based on merit, you cant expect performance from a unit and see them gel together and behave as a cohesive bunch. Keeping in mind the current scenario, we cant expect much and they will continue to suffer.This is a sad situation and witnessing a team with potential being torn apart by dirty politics hurts.

  • ahmad on April 2, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    Bangladesh is a very good team in the asian country. They have good recode in odi.but they struggle in test cricket.now they past a very good series in sri-lonka.they won last Odi serier v west indies without shakib al hasan.but zim lost all formet vs west indies.i hope bd countinue their parformence & zim also play good cricket.