Zimbabwe selector Wayne James axed
Wayne James, the former Zimbabwe wicketkeeper, has been removed from the national selection panel as well as Zimbabwe Cricket's cricket committee. James had held both posts for four years.
ZC informed James of his sacking on August 22, two days after the selection meeting during which Zimbabwe had left Brendan Taylor out of the third ODI against South Africa. Zimbabwe lost that match by seven wickets and were whitewashed 3-0 in the ODIs after a heavy defeat in the one-off Test.
Taylor returned to the side for the first game of the tri-series against Australia, but Zimbabwe lost that by 198 runs. He has scored 10, 14 and 6 in his last three ODI innings.
James is still involved with the Matabeleland Tuskers franchise and with the High Performance programme in Zimbabwe. His removal as selector and from the cricket committee is the latest in the raft of changes that has shaken up the sport in the country.
At a board meeting in late July long-time chairman Peter Chingoka stepped down after two decades at the helm. Head coach Andy Waller moved into a director of coaching role and handed the national team over to his assistant Stephen Mangongo. The captaincy was also split: Brendan Taylor retained the reins of the Test side and Elton Chigumbrua took over the limited-overs teams.
The shuffling of positions is believed to be a result of ZC's precarious financial position, which may ultimately lead to them running a bare-bones operation. The three-man selection panel has now simply been reduced to two, with Givemore Makoni and Mangongo the only men making decisions over who will be in the XI. In their last four ODIs, Zimbabwe have not fielded the same XI twice as part of what Mangongo called a "roadmap," to rising from what he called, "their lowest ebb, in losing to an Associate member." Zimbabwe squandered a 2-0 lead to Afghanistan to share spoils in the series. They have since lost another four ODIs to take their losing streak to six.