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Streak Speaks on new job

HEATH Streak — the new Zimbabwe team bowling coach — acknowledges the team’s bowling resources need boosting, yet maintains that the bowlers’ errant performance against Bangladesh was a minor flaw.

Former national team captain and fast bowler Streak was this week unveiled as Zimbabwe assistant coach, specialising in bowling.


The 35-year-old’s appointment, ending a long-standing dispute with ZC, is part of the board’s restructuring of the coaching department which is expected to see incumbent head coach Walter Chawaguta revert back to an understudy role under a more experienced mentor.

“We have to look at where the problem was, whether it was technical or mental,” Streak told IndependentSport yesterday.

“We obviously batted well, but maybe the guys felt the wicket was flat and tough to bowl on. The bowlers bowled too many bad balls which were too easy for the batsmen to put away to the boundary. But look, it’s not a major thing. This can be rectified.”

With more players on the verge of returning to the Zimbabwe fold, Streak revealed some of the names lined up.

“Tinashe Panyangara is playing well in England and he is a guy we are looking to come back. I believe Gary Brent is coaching and he’s another guy who can come in a coaching role. And we will also be trying to talk to people like Anthony Ireland and Sean Ervine to return.

Streak, a hugely popular figure in Zimbabwean cricket during his playing days, played 65 Tests and 189 ODIs for the country as a frontline bowler and capable middle-order batsman.

He said of his new job: “It’s obviously a different role from playing. To be honest, it will be a bit frustrating to sit on the side and rely on the guys on the field. But I look forward to it, I look forward to be part of the team.”

He added that despite losing the Bangladesh series 4-1, the team exhibited great potential. “Look, there were a lot of positives,” he said. “We mustn’t lose sight of the fact that we had a guy who equalled a world record. That alone if proof of the ability in the team. There were a few cameo knocks as well. Hamilton Masakadza got his maiden ODI century.”

Streak emphasized the importance of fast bowling in the progression of the team, naming Elton Chigumbura as a key man in that area.

“Elton is one player with potential to become an even better cricketer. He has ability to be one of Zimbabwe’s representative at the IPL. As an all-rounder he has class. As a bowler he has ability to bowl quick. I hope we can work on him becoming an even quicker bowler consistently.

“We do have a healthy spin department. (But) One of the things I foresee is to develop players who can bowl 85 miles per hour consistently.

Enock Muchinjo

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