STILL fresh from a successful stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL), former Zimbabwe coach and captain Heath Streak has embarked on yet another new chapter in his coaching career. He has being roped into the technical team of the Scotland cricket side on a consultancy basis.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The former Zimbabwe cricket (ZC) captain was expected to accompany the European side for the duration of their Triangular Twenty20 Series with hosts Netherlands and Ireland, which started on Thursday.
Scotland, placed 11th on the ICC T20 rankings, two notches above Zimbabwe, will be using the Triangular Twenty20 Series as the first phase of their preparations for the qualification tournament for the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Australia.
The well-travelled coach, who has also enjoyed successful stints with the Bangladesh national side, said he was delighted to share his knowledge with the Scottish side which last Sunday posted a historic one-day international ODI (ODI) victory over England.
“They (Scotland) have really improved since the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australasia and have now got a consistently competitive team. Their historical first ODI win over England last Sunday is testament to their progress as a country in world cricket,” Streak said.
“Grant Bradburn, the head coach of Scotland, asked me if I could share my T20 experience with them as a consultant to help the team as well as the coaches to evolve in that format and I was happy to share my knowledge and experience with them. I will be with the team for a short eight days as consultant during their triangular T20 series with hosts Netherlands and Ireland,” Streak said.
Streak is well respected around the world as one of the finest specialist bowling coaches around and recently played a key role in helping the Kolkata Knight Riders reach the play-offs during the Indian Premier League in April.
However, just like the biblical prophet who was honoured everywhere except in his own country, Streak has continued to be revered abroad but shunned by cricket authorities at home.
Streak was dismissed as the coach of the national team in April in the wake of the national team’s failure to qualify for next year’s ICC World Cup to be held in England and Wales.
The decision triggered a public outcry while ZC was also condemned for the manner in which they dismissed Streak and members of his technical team.
In the aftermath of the dismissal, ZC board chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani had implied that some of Streak’s decisions were based on racism.
Streak, who has since sued the ZC boss over the racism accusations, said while it was difficult to recover from the manner of his dismissal, he had since moved on from the disappointment.
In fact, the country’s highest wicket taker in history vowed to come back and contribute in the rebuilding of the domestic game in future.
“Obviously it was always going to be tough to recover from the manner in which we were treated…to be called treasonous and corrupt was uncalled for, below the belt and unjustifiable.
“However, I have moved on but know I will play a part in rebuilding the future of Zimbabwe Cricket after the incumbents self-destruct. I just hope they don’t leave the game in irreversible disrepair for generations to come,” Streak said.