Give Zim Cricket 3 years: Ntini
ZIMBABWE Cricket coach Makhaya Ntini believes his charges are headed in the right direction and declared that they would be one of the top sides by 2019.
The local game has been in the woods for more than a decade and a string of poor results against minnows and International Cricket Council associate member Afghanistan underlined the decline.
Responding to questions from journalists about his vision for Zimbabwe Cricket ahead of the first Test match against New Zealand at Queens Spots Club today, Ntini said his players don’t like being bunched with minnows of world cricket.
“I think each and every player hates being part of those countries that need to qualify for them to play at a bigger stage. My vision is to make sure between now and 2019, Zimbabwe will no longer play qualifiers ahead of a bigger event,” said Ntini.
He said he was working with his South African compatriot Lance Klusener to get the best out of his team.
“Cricket in Zimbabwe has been neglected for some time and those who get the opportunity to play for the nation take it fully. Since we gathered with them, Lance and I have been really pushing them to the limits. We need to have players that don’t only bowl 10 overs and then say I have an injury. I told them that they must be honest with us because we need to have a team at 100 percent to take to the field,” said Ntini.
Turning to today’s Test, Ntini said he was geared up.
“I think it’s an honour to be honest. From where I came from as a rural boy and playing Test matches and one-dayers for South Africa and then coming to a country that has needed someone who has got the passion for the game, not selecting according to your name, but selecting based on potential one sees and giving the player the freedom.
“Having (captain Graeme) Cremer next to me is an honour as he played almost at the same time as me.