Streak confident of landing ZC job
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