Zim sched­ule makes player re­ten­tion hard, says Streak

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

GALLE. — Zim­babwe’s con­sis­tent spells as the bot­tom-ranked team, 25 years af­ter be­ing granted Test sta­tus, are down to spo­radic sched­ul­ing and the sub­se­quent mi­gra­tion of play­ers, said their head coach Heath Streak.

Speak­ing to the me­dia ahead of the first match of their Sri Lanka tour, Streak high­lighted the dif­fi­culty of re­tain­ing tal­ent with large gaps in the cal­en­dar.

“It’s well-doc­u­mented (that) there have been a lot of play­ers who have left and are play­ing around the world who come from Zim­babwe,” he said.

“It’s been tough for Zim­babwe to re­tain some of these play­ers and hence we are con­stantly re­build­ing. We’ve got a lot of young guys in our team. If you look around the world, and look at Zim­bab­weans in­ter­na­tion­ally, we’ve got the likes of Gary Bal­lance, the Cur­ran boys Sam and Tom, who just de­buted for Eng­land, and Kyle Jarvis play­ing county cricket suc­cess­fully.

“We’ve got a lot of these guys out there whom we are trying to lure back. Part of their prob­lem is the vol­ume of cricket that Zim­babwe plays.

‘’That’s some­thing that we can’t ad­dress, ob­vi­ously. It’s a Catch 22 si­t­u­a­tion. We’ve got to play good com­pet­i­tive cricket for other coun­tries to give us matches and that’s some­thing we are re­ally tar­get­ing (to do).

“Hope­fully we can get some of those play­ers to re­turn to Zim­babwe and com­ple­ment a tal­ented group of play­ers that we have brought to the shores of Sri Lanka.

‘’It’s go­ing to be a chal­lenge be­cause of the lack of cricket. We have these big gaps in be­tween se­ries and that’s prob­a­bly our big­gest chal­lenge to get the guys to get used to play­ing at elite level.”

The si­t­u­a­tion, in ad­di­tion to hav­ing an im­pact on Zim­babwe’s per­for­mance on the field, has also been ‘a big chal­lenge’ for Streak as head coach.

“You in­herit the play­ers and your job is to try and get the best out of them. I cer­tainly think that the team we’ve got here has got the abil­ity to win against any side,” he said. — Cricinfo.

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