Zimbabwe news January 24, 2016

Ntini excited to begin 'dream' of coaching

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'The most important thing is that the team qualifies for the main draw [of the World T20]' - New Zimbabwe bowling coach Makhaya Ntini © Associated Press

Five years after completing a very successful career as an international cricketer for South Africa, Makhaya Ntini has a chance to nurture young talent and bring them to the big stage, having signed on as Zimbabwe's bowling coach. His two-year run will begin with an important first step - the World T20 in India in March.

Since his retirement in 2011, Ntini has been active on the South African cricket scene as a commentator. He has long wanted to open a cricket academy in the Eastern Cape, a hotbed of black African talent, but has struggled for funding. While he continues efforts towards that, Ntini hopes he can also put his expertise - the benefit of 101 Tests, 173 ODIs and 10 T20Is - to good use for Zimbabwe.

"I'm looking forward to working with my neighbouring country. I think there is a lot of talent there that we need to find and nurture. This is also about following my dreams of coaching and bringing guys through," he told ESPNcricinfo.

The top eight teams have direct entry into the main draw of the World T20, but Zimbabwe, who are ranked 14th, will have to go through a qualifying round. They have been grouped with Scotland, Afghanistan and Hong Kong and will play one match with each team. Only if they finish on top will they move on to the main tournament.

"The most important thing is that the team qualifies for the main draw," Ntini said.

Since the end of the last World T20, Zimbabwe have played 17 matches and won only four of them. They go into this year's edition having leveled a four-match series with Bangladesh, but will be wary of Afghanistan, to whom they have lost back-to-back series.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dawena on January 28, 2016, 1:44 GMT

    What coaching experience does Ntini have?? I thought Doug Hondo was doing a fine job.

  • newgraahm on January 25, 2016, 17:23 GMT

    No experience, but certainly a person for the guys to look up and listen , I think his experience as a player at the highest level will be good , but coaching abilities are a wait and see issue...He has openly spoken of frustration about the lack of black South Africans moving into the top level, I hope this attitude does not impair his views on who should represent Zim

  • kariba87 on January 25, 2016, 17:21 GMT

    Hopefully I may be wrong buy have a feeling that the "unqualified" Nitini is using Zimbabwe merely to boost his own CV much like Alan Donald did as a franchise coach..come here, fill your pocket with the ZC's mis-spent money ( which is great as his own Rand is getting hammered !!) and then move off again.Sad..but true

  • ZCFOutkast on January 24, 2016, 22:05 GMT

    The great Makhaya Ntini. Zimbabwe are truly blessed to have him! With Whatmore at the helm though, his efforts will probably be extinguished, just like Douglas Hondo.

  • cricketeng on January 24, 2016, 19:03 GMT

    Makhaya was always the real deal. Hopefully he will strengthen Zim, and get good coaching experience. Then he and Kagiso can inspire the SA youngsters to take up cricket, and not just soccer. With that pool of talent in the professional SA setup, hopefully soon quotas will not be needed to create a strong diverse team.

  • Cricinfouser on January 24, 2016, 18:36 GMT

    well doneeee

  • Albert_cambell on January 24, 2016, 17:52 GMT

    I hope Ntini brings Zim back on track. I was really disappointed to see zim losing back to back series to Afghanistan.

  • Diaz54 on January 24, 2016, 16:57 GMT

    Well done Nitini I pray it goes well,for,you. You deserve it. SA have not treated you as well,as they could,have. Any way I am pleased for you.,Pak,supporter. Good to see Zimbabwe supporting Africsn players.

  • Cricinfouser on January 24, 2016, 16:33 GMT

    Its your time once more Mdingi express...

  • Crick_fan1 on January 24, 2016, 15:57 GMT

    Why are SA not using his services?? It seems he's boarding a sinking ship that is Zim; no offence, but everyone knows where they stand in World cricket even after Whatmore has taken over. Still, wish Ntini well and hope he comes out with flying colours.

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