Eagles search for new coach

Chris Silverwood and Elton Chigumbura at the launch of Zimbabwe's Twenty20 tournament Zimbabwe Cricket

Mashonaland Eagles are on the lookout for a new coach after it was confirmed that Chris Silverwood would not be returning to the franchise next season. They have, however, already filled the post of assistant coach, with Grant Flower set to take up the role when he returns to Zimbabwe at the end of the current English season.

"Silverwood is not coming back and we are still discussing with the prospective candidates for the job and hopefully we will be announcing the name of the new coach soon," Eagles' chief executive Hugo Ribatika told The Herald in Zimbabwe.

Flower, 39, is in his final season with Essex after spending six years at the county. As well as the post with Eagles, he is expected to become part of the national coaching set-up and work with Zimbabwe's batsmen as part of coach Alan Butcher's technical team.

Mashonaland Eagles won Zimbabwe's domestic first-class competition, the Logan Cup, last season, and were also beaten finalists in the Faithwear-Met Bank one-day competition and the inaugural Stanbic Bank Twenty20 tournament.

Eagles' captain Elton Chigumbura, who is playing county cricket with Northamptonshire, is likely to miss the opening matches of the forthcoming season, but the franchise has already begun its preparations and the squad will be travelling to Chimanimani in the east of the country for a pre-season retreat next week.

"It's a team building exercise. We have invited a number of professionals to come and talk to the players because we want to build strong individuals on and off the pitch," said Ribatika.

With several franchises making changes to their squads ahead of the new season - Matabeleland Tuskers have parted ways with Mark Vermeulen and Dion Ebrahim, while Tatenda Taibu and Stuart Matsikenyeri are moving from Mountaineers to Southern Rocks - Eagles have signed national Under-19 captain Peter Moor.

"We have high chances because we have managed to retain most of our players and we are looking to add one or two," explained Ribatika. "Negotiations are still going on. We also have got exciting prospects coming up as we have secured the national Under-19 captain Peter Moor to play first class cricket for Eagles this year."