Streak con­fi­dent of land­ing ZC job

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

FOR­MER Zim­babwe na­tional cricket team cap­tain Heath Streak is con­fi­dent of land­ing the va­cant na­tional coach­ing post af­ter be­ing in­ter­viewed on Wed­nes­day, as ru­mours swirled that the for­mer pace­man would in fact be un­veiled to­day.

Streak dis­missed the ru­mours that he would be un­veiled as na­tional team coach this af­ter­noon, al­though he’s pretty sure he got the job.

“I only heard some­one say­ing they saw some­where on­line that I’ll be un­veiled to­day, but I haven’t heard any­thing of­fi­cial about my said ap­point­ment,” said Streak last night.

The Zim­babwe Cricket (ZC) board in­ter­viewed Streak, ex-na­tional team player Andy Blig­naut and the South African duo of Peter Kirsten and Justin Sum­mons for the job left va­cant fol­low­ing the sack­ing of Dav What­more.

Sum­mons is based in Johannesburg and helped Pros­per Ut­seya and Brian Vi­tori cor­rect their il­le­gal bowl­ing ac­tions af­ter be­ing cited and sus­pended. Their bowl­ing ac­tions were sub­se­quently cleared.

Ac­cord­ing to Cricinfo, Kirsten is cur­rently in­volved at Red­hill School in Johannesburg and also works as a com­men­ta­tor on SABC Ra­dio. He was in­volved with Uganda, Kenya and Sierra Leone, and has also coached Western Province in South Africa in the past.

Blig­naut, on the other hand, has been coach­ing at Peter­house Col­lege.

ZC is ex­pected to un­veil the new coach be­fore Zim­babwe’s two Tests against Sri Lanka in Harare start­ing on Oc­to­ber 29.

The new coach will also lead the in an ODI tri­an­gu­lar se­ries in­volv­ing Sri Lanka and West Indies.

Speak­ing at his Old Mu­tual Heath Streak Cricket Academy in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day, Streak be­lieves his ex­pe­ri­ence will come in handy at get­ting the na­tional team back to its com­pet­i­tive best.

Streak was Zim­babwe’s bowl­ing coach un­der Alan Butcher be­tween 2010 and 2013 and has had stints with Bangladesh and at the IPL.

He helped trans­form Bangladesh into a com­pet­i­tive side as a bowl­ing coach and he also be­lieves that his role as coach of Gu­jarat Lions in the IPL gives him an edge over Blig­naut, Kirsten and Sum­mons.

Streak said he would con­tinue in his role at Gu­jarat Lions be­cause it won’t in­ter­fere with his Zim­babwe coach­ing du­ties since it only oc­cu­pies him for two months a year.

“I’ve lots of ex­pe­ri­ence as a player and coach, which I hope to bring should I land the job. Among other things that I’ll bring is to try and get play­ers in­volved in de­ci­sion mak­ing so that they feel part of the team,” said Streak.

Streak, who re­signed as Bangladesh’s bowl­ing coach in May, five days be­fore the end of his two-year con­tract, said like the Asians, tal­ent is abun­dant in Zim­babwe and what’s needed is to get the na­tional team play­ing lots of cricket.

Be­fore join­ing Bangladesh, the for­mer Zim­babwe in­ter­na­tional led Mata­bele­land Tuskers to their third con­sec­u­tive Lo­gan Cup at the end of the 2012/13 sea­son and also set up the Heath Streak Multi-Sport Academy in Bu­l­awayo.

Streak, who was Zim­babwe’s bowl­ing coach be­tween 2009 and 2013, took his ideas to the sub­con­ti­nent and left Bangladesh as a com­pet­i­tive out­fit.

Dur­ing his stint in Asia, Bangladesh won a Test se­ries and two ODI se­ries against Zim­babwe, made it to the knock­out stage of the 2015 World Cup and won the ODI se­ries against Pak­istan, India and South Africa.

“The method of train­ing and prepa­ra­tions were key in turn­ing around Bangladesh’s for­tunes. What hap­pened is that we iden­ti­fied lim­i­ta­tions and strengths of the team, and also stud­ied the op­po­nents, mean­ing that we ex­ploited the op­po­nents’ weak­ness. In ev­ery­thing we did, we used our strengths and that’s how Bangladesh beats teams,” said Streak.

“Like Bangladesh, we’ve lots of tal­ent in Zim­babwe, but the guys aren’t get­ting enough cricket. For peo­ple to play you’ve to be a com­pet­i­tive side and hope­fully we’ll play more cricket be­cause the po­ten­tial and mind­set to do so is there.”

The Bu­l­awayo-born Streak has a 15-year play­ing ca­reer and made his Test de­but in Zim­babwe’s tour of Pak­istan in the 1993/94 sea­son.

He is the only Zim­bab­wean bowler to have taken over 100 Test wick­ets and one of the only two Zim­bab­wean bowlers to have taken over 100 ODI wick­ets. The other one is Grant Flower.

Streak re­tired from in­ter­na­tional cricket in Oc­to­ber 2005. — @ZililoR

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