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New cricket coach Streak says delighted with Zimbabwe return

Heath Streak (left) with ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani in Bulawayo Tuesday


11/10/2016 00:00:00
by Zimbabwe Cricket
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Heath Streak appointed Zim cricket coach

“MY promise is I will leave no stone unturned in terms of our endeavour and our quest to improve the team’s performances,” Zimbabwe’s new cricket head coach has said.

He added: “I believe that we have the resources here in Zimbabwe to do just that and planning is obviously going to be a major factor.”

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) have named former captain Heath Streak as the new national team head coach on Tuesday.

He was unveiled by ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani at a press briefing in Bulawayo after accepting a two-year contract.

The 42-year-old Streak, who has filled in the post left vacant following Davenell Whatmore’s departure in May, hailed his appointment as a ‘great honour’.

“Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to the chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket and his board for this opportunity,” said Streak, whose coaching career has so far included stints as Matabeleland Tuskers head coach, Zimbabwe bowling coach and Bangladesh bowling coach.

“For me, having captained this country, to be offered the post of head coach is a great honour and I know with it comes responsibility not just to the players but to the fans and supporters of Zimbabwe cricket as well.”

While one of Streak’s major tasks will be to help Zimbabwe qualify for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, his immediate assignment is the upcoming two-match Test series at home to Sri Lanka, followed by a one-day international tri-series involving West Indies.

“We do have a lack of cricket but I know ZC is addressing that issue at the moment. I feel that with the upcoming series and the latter half of next year we have some really good cricket coming up so we can really work towards improving.”

Streak believes Zimbabwe has a bright future and hopes to make the team a force to reckon with in international cricket.

“I do see a strong future. Obviously things don’t just happen overnight. It’s a process but I know that process can happen quickly and for me that will be a big goal to facilitate that,” he said.

Still part of the Zimbabwe coaching set-up ... South African Makhaya Ntini


Makhaya Ntini, who took over from Whatmore in an interim capacity, has now reverted to his full-time role as bowling coach, while Lance Klusener will continue as bowling coach.

“I am really excited about the technical team that we’ve got currently in place. I think there are some really good guys that ZC has brought into the system. And it’s not just at national team level . . . the ‘A’ team staff, the Under-19 and some of the provincial staff,” Streak said.

“So obviously it’s key that we work cohesively, collectively with one common goal: to continue to improve and prioritise the performance of the national team.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge. I understand that I’m not under illusion that there are going to be some big challenges ahead of us, but that’s what sportspeople and athletes enjoy – the challenges – and that’s what drives us.

“So my promise to supporters, the current group of players as well as past players is that hopefully I can honour that and make sure I forge this team and we can start seeing improved performances, not just to be happy to be competitive but to start winning.”

Mukuhlani said Streak’s appointment was part of ZC’s restructuring process aimed at turning around Zimbabwe’s fortunes.

“ZC has been going through a restructuring process that we have seen touching on the secretariat; we have gone through layoffs and salary reductions.

“Over the past year we have made several changes to our technical team and bringing in the head coach is one of the last steps,” the chairman said.

Mukuhlani thanked Ntini and Klusener for taking care of the national team while ZC was on the hunt for a new head coach.

“ZC would like to convey its gratitude and many thanks to Makhaya Ntini for the job he has done from the time he took over. We are grateful for the work that Makhaya and Lance have been doing during the time they have been taking care of the team,” Mukuhlani said.

“Heath joins a system that Makhaya and Lance have already put in place. He comes in to complement them. He brings with him a wealth of experience.

“It’s our belief as a board and as an institution that in him we have the correct candidate, that in him we have brought in the finest of Zimbabwe in terms of professionalism.

“We hope to see the fortunes of the team turning around. He is not new to the system and we are confident we have landed the right candidate for the job.

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