Zimbabwe Cricket has created a new post, managing director, cricket, to help identify and develop talent for the national team. Former Test captain Alistair Campbell is seen as a frontrunner for the position after having held talks with ZC, though the board said it wanted to interview other candidates as well. ZC also announced positions of general manager cricket operations and director of coaching. The announcements came after ZC's board meeting last week.
Campbell had been critical of Zimbabwe Cricket last month, calling for more former international players in the national coaching set-up. National coach Stephen Mangongo, who has no high-level cricketing experience, had responded to those statements by saying the lack of finances was holding back the team, not the lack of experienced internationals in the coaching set-up.
Zimbabwe are coming off a disastrous tour of Bangladesh, where they lost all three Tests and five ODIs. "We have to strengthen the cricket side of it while also improving administratively," ZC board chairman Wilson Manase said at a press conference. "That is why we have said for the position of managing director, cricket, we want somebody that has played cricket before at the highest level. On the international front, cricket is changing. We have Associate nations pushing to break into top ten and we have to up our game."
With participation in the 2019 World Cup guaranteed to only the top eight teams, Manashe said Zimbabwe needed to get its act together. "High performance is required now to stay at the top. So we are making immediate changes in order for the results to improve. We will do anything and everything to get the results and everybody will need to perform their duty, otherwise we will act accordingly."
Manashe also said results needed to improve for Zimbabwe to "win back investor confidence" and that ZC aimed to be profitable by 2019. "Our major problem is lack of adequate finance. We have sponsorship and we are grateful, but it is not enough. Even the franchises are struggling. We have set out a programme, that will see us out of the red by 2019."