The Zimbabwe Cricket board (ZC) has explained the reasons why they decided to sack coach Heath Streak and his entire coaching staff including captain Graeme Cremer after Zimbabwe failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup.
Streak was fired together with batting coach Lance Klusener, bowling coach Douglas Hondo, fielding coach Walter Chawaguta, team analyst Stanley Chiwoza and strength and conditioning coach Sean Bell. The ZC statement read:
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.
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“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 (UAE), 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.
As far as the ‘A’ team is concerned, the ‘A’ team and Development team suffered some disastrous results, including a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the UAE and a winless run in the Africa T20 Cup in South Africa (against provincial sides).
To say that this was very disappointing is putting it very mildly. Regarding the Under-19 team performances, despite providing the coaching staff the best ever preparation, facilities and funding over a two-year period, which included expensive tours to Namibia, South Africa, Australia and India, and arriving in New Zealand two weeks earlier than normal to train, play extra games and acclimatise, the Under-19 side performed abysmally at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand where they finished in 11th place out of 16 teams.
And this was after the Head Coach promised management, not once but many times, at least a top-four finish at the event. Again, to say that this was very disappointing is putting it very mildly.