via Zimbabwe Cricket News: Zimbabwe advertise for assistant coach, physio | ESPN Cricinfo 18 September 2014 by Firdose Moonda
Zimbabwe Cricket have seemingly allayed fears of a financial meltdown by advertising for two high-profile positions associated with the national team. The board has put out a call for a national assistant coach and a national team physiotherapist, posts which were left vacant by the promotion of Stephen Mangongo in July and the resignation of Amato Machikicho in January.
Although Mangongo has only gone two months without an assistant, Machikicho, was not replaced previously, leaving the set-up without a key medical staff member. Machikicho had worked with ZC for 18 years since 1996, initially only as a travelling physiotherapist and then permanently from 1999. His departure, which he, at the time, told Daily News was “for family reasons and just to move away and secure other opportunities elsewhere”, fuelled speculation that ZC’s cash-flow crisis was taking its toll.
In July, when Peter Chingoka stood down after more than two decades as ZC’s chairperson and a restructure had the captaincy split between Brendan Taylor and Elton Chigumbura, and Andy Waller moved to an overseeing role while Mangongo was named head coach, ZC’s shifting sands pointed to more financial instability. But, with central contracts signed, domestic player contracts also confirmed and ZC sending out a call for applications, they appear to be on steadier ground but could still encounter difficulty in finding suitable candidates.
An insider previously told ESPNcricinfo that one of the toughest challenges cricket in Zimbabwe faces is a lack of local coaches, which is the likeliest place they would search for Mangongo’s assistant. Grant Flower and Heath Streak, who worked as batting and bowling coach respectively, have both moved on to jobs abroad. Flower is Pakistan’s batting coach while Streak is with Bangladesh and has also started his own academy outside Bulawayo. Gary Brent, who was coaching at Zimbabwe’s academy, was not offered a renewal on his contract until after he had found other employment.
ZC may yet to be able to attract international applicants as they did when a cash-injection in 2009 allowed a selection of big names, including Jason Gillespie, Alan Donald and Monty Lynch, to coach at franchise level but the organisation’s reputation for late and non-payment may scupper those ambitions. Many people who became involved with Zimbabwean cricket during its revival are still owed money and with ZC still deeply in debt to Metbank – one of Zimbabwe’s leading banks – their ability to offer security is compromised. But the recent advertisements hint better days may lie ahead, which will only bode well for Zimbabwe as they continue preparations for next year’s World Cup.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent