Geoff Marsh, Zimbabwe's coach, has said that he was "disappointed and saddened" by Heath Streak's resignation as captain.

Streak, 30, quit following a disagreement with the ZCU over selection policy. Some reports claimed that he had turned his back on the game completely, but that seems unlikely given that he has a contract to play for Warwickshire this summer.

"It's a very sad day for Zimbabwe cricket," Marsh told Reuters. "He was a brilliant captain, you only have to look at his performances to see that. He gave everything he possibly could to cricket in Zimbabwe. I'm very disappointed, and very saddened."

The ZCU immediately appointed Tatenda Taibu, the current vice-captain, as his successor. "It's going to be hard for him," Marsh admitted. "He's only 20 years old."

Marsh refused to comment on his own future after his current contract expires in September, and there are fears within the ZCU that Streak's announcement could lead to other senior players following his lead.

The Herald newspaper, a virtual mouthpiece for the Mugabe regime, claimed this morning that Streak had been fired by the ZCU.

And Dave Houghton, a former Zimbabwe captain and coach, said that Streak's departure would leave "a massive hole in the Zimbabwe side ... he's a fantastic cricketer and he's still got a lot to offer". Houghton warned that Zimbabwe's cupboard was fairly bare. "You've got Andy Blignaut coming through and one or two others," he warned, "but they really are youngsters."