Former England player Lynch to coach Rocks

SHORT-LIVED England batsman Monty Lynch has become the latest overseas professional to join the Zimbabwe domestic cricket scene.
The 52-year-old former Surrey and Gloucestershire player has been signed by the Southern Rocks franchise as head coach for the upcoming 2010-11 domestic season.

Since retiring from first-class cricket, Lynch has continued playing club cricket in Surrey. He also owns a cricket equipment company. Lynch, who was born in Guyana before migrating with his family to the UK as a child, earned three one-day caps for England in 1988.

“He is very happy to come here,” Southern Rocks chief executive Givemore Makoni told IndependentSport this week. “He can’t wait to return to Zimbabwe. He has wonderful memories of the country and wants to resume the good job he started.”

Lynch previously worked in Zimbabwe in the mid-1990s where he played and coached at Old Wistonians (now Takashinga Cricket Club), then a development club based in Highfield, Harare.

Makoni said Lynch “did wonders” at the club, where he was heavily involved in the progress of former Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu and batsman Stuart Matsikenyeri, who were still in primary school at the time.

Taibu and Matsikenyeri will be reunited with their mentor after the pair moved to Rocks ahead of the new season.
Taibu will share the captaincy of the Masvingo-based franchise with ex-Kenya skipper Steve Tikolo, who led the side last season.
“It means a lot,” Makoni added. “If you notice, we didn’t do too well last season because we had a young side. With his experience, Monte will add a lot of value to the team because the guys will be exposed to quality coaching.”

Lynch becomes the second high-profile coach to join a Zimbabwean side ahead of the second franchise season. Last week Midwest Rhinos concluded a deal with former Australia Test bowler Jason Gillespie.

Meanwhile, The Zimbabwe coaching education unit under the Zimbabwe Cricket development and training department conducted a Level Two coaching course between July 23 and 28 at Harare Sports Club. A specialist coach from South Africa, Jody Martins, ran the course. Coaches and some national team players like Prosper Utseya and Trevor Garwe also attended.

Enock Muchinjo