The under fire Zimbabwe Cricket board have defended their controversial decision to fire national team coach Heath Streak and his supporting staff despite growing anger across the country over this move. The Herald exclusively broke the story last week and it has triggered a storm across the country.
“During an emergency meeting of the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) Board of Directors on 25 March 2018, among the board resolutions passed were the following:
That the convener, national technical team staff, the Zimbabwe ‘A’ technical team staff and the Under-19 technical team staff should resign, failing which the board will dismiss the staff members by giving the required notice;
That the convener, national technical team staff, the Zimbabwe ‘A’ technical team staff and the Under-19 technical team staff should cease to do their duties forthwith;
That the ZC Managing Director conveys the board’s resolutions to the staff members concerned and update the Board; and
That an interim selection panel will be appointed that will serve up to the Pakistan and Australia matches in June/July and thereafter their performance will be reviewed.
“Following which, the ZC Managing Director and his team advised the concerned technical staff members about the resolutions passed by the ZC board. The concerned staff members were given until 3pm last Friday to make a decision regarding their resignations, failing which they should consider themselves dismissed.
“The Managing Director spoke personally with his direct reports (i.e. the National Head Coach and the Convener of Selectors) and, in accordance with proper procedures, requested the Head Coach (as the concerned supervisor) to speak in turn to his own staff and direct reports.
“The ZC Head of Cricket Affairs was tasked by the Managing Director to advise the technical teams under his purview, namely the Under-19 and the Zimbabwe ‘A’ technical teams. The head coaches of both those teams were accordingly advised.
“In all, the following 13 impacted members of staff were advised of the board resolutions:
National Head Coach Heath Streak
Batting Coach Lance Klusener
Fielding Coach Walter Chawaguta
Analyst Stanley Chioza
Fitness Trainer Sean Bell
Physiotherapist Anesu Mupotaringa,” the ZC said in a statement.
They also wielded the axe on others, including Zimbabwe “A” coach Douglas Hondo, assistant coach Wayne James,
Zimbabwe Under-19 technical staff – head coach Stephen Mangongo, bowling coach Prosper Utseya, batting coach Gregory Lamb and fitness Trainer Walter Karimanzira.
“Their contracts have been terminated and they are no longer required to carry out any technical team-related duties. The ZC human resources process will now conclude matters in a proper manner,” the statement read.
“The board has also declared its intention to revamp the entire selection process for all its National teams. This is an important aspect, the performance of which has fallen well short of expectations.
“It is important that the public understands why the ZC board has taken these decisions. The actions taken by the board are only and purely as a result of the very unsatisfactory performances and results of the Zimbabwe National team, the Zimbabwe ‘A’ team and the Zimbabwe Under-19 team.
“The board believes that things have come to a point where bad performances and bad results cannot be absorbed with a shrug of the shoulders and considered as business as usual. The stakeholders, the fans and in fact the entire nation of Zimbabwe deserve better, much better in terms of performances and results from their national cricket teams.
“The ZC board has not taken these decisions lightly. It well understands the professional and personal ramifications that this will have on the impacted staff and can appreciate and sympathise with their disappointments. The board also realises that the impacted staff all worked hard and tried to perform their duties to the best of their abilities.
“However, the board also realises that their best was not good enough. Certain important decisions taken by senior technical staff do, in the board’s opinion, call into question the judgment and ability of the concerned staff to make such crucial decisions. This has resulted in a collective loss of confidence in the technical teams.
“The national team’s performances in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018, as well as in the Bangladesh (won one, lost three) and Afghanistan (won one, lost six) tours immediately preceding the tournament, were highly unsatisfactory. In the qualifier, where ZC had home advantage, the team just barely scraped past Afghanistan in a match that they perhaps should have lost, tied against Scotland in a match that they perhaps should have also lost and were behind on points against Ireland at the halfway mark.
“And the board finally lost patience and confidence in the Head Coach and his technical staff after questionable decisions were made in the critical must-win Super Six match against the United Arab Emirates, which ultimately sealed ZC’s fate. This was the most important match that ZC was playing in years (at home against an Associate team) and the Board believes that the planning, strategy and execution adopted for this game was beyond reasonable comprehension and, in fact, way off the mark.”