HARARE – Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) changes to the technical department and playing staff have been met with mixed feelings by fans.
Head coach Dav Whatmore was shown the exit while captain Hamilton Masakadza was also relieved of his duties and replaced by spinner Graeme Cremer on an interim basis.
South African pace legend Makhaya Ntini takes over the reins from Whatmore on an interim basis while the board looks for a substantive head coach.
And to beef up the technical department, ex-South African top order batsman Lance Klusener has been appointed batting coach on a two-year contract.
Former national team captain Tatenda Taibu also ended his exile from the game and returns in a different capacity as the convener of selectors.
Taibu takes over from his predecessor Kenyon Ziehl, who was also relieved of his duties.
Zimbabwe Cricket Supporters Union (ZCSU) chairman Tapfumaneyi Banhire said they were alarmed by the changes which came just 10 days before India’s visit.
The Asians are scheduled to arrive for a series which comprises three ODIs and three T20s starting on June 11 at Harare Sports Club.
“… We do not oppose the sacking of Dav (Whatmore) as the results were not pleasing, however, it is the timing of the change, it’s not the best of timings at all,” Banhire said in a statement.
“We feel the sacking of Masakadza was not necessary as he had only captained the side in three T20s and has won two. We believe he was supposed to have been given another chance in other forms of the game as well.”
ZCSU said they had no qualms with the appointment of Taibu to lead the selection panel but reacted angrily to rumours that former coach Steve Mangongo now with the U19 was tipped to take over from Whatmore.
“We always welcome the coming back of those who have played for Zimbabwe,” he said.
“…We would want to categorically state that we believe … Mangongo is a good developmental coach and must be deployed in that field. We oppose the idea of bringing him back as national team coach. Furthermore, we believe that our submissions during the ZC consultative meeting on massive development are the key for Zimbabwe to reclaim its lost glory in international cricket.”