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Cricket flops lack foreign exposure

The team led by coach Alan Butcher met this week to conduct a post-mortem of the season where they took note of the need for local players to be allowed to go and play in different parts of the world.

Assistant coach Steve Mangongo confirmed the meeting yesterday saying that they were looking at ways to improve, going into the new season.
They also laid out a programme for the pre-season preparations which will kick off next month ahead of the first tour on the calendar when they host South Africa in five T20s.

Bowling coach Heath Streak and batting coach Grant flower are also part of the technical set- up.
Of immediate concern however are the dismal performances of the team when playing abroad, and the selectors want players to play as much cricket as possible outside Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe Cricket must come in and assist national team players together with the promising younger players in getting contracts outside the country,” said Mangongo. The way forward is to encourage as much as possible the national team players to, for example, play club cricket in England so that they get accustomed to different conditions. It would help them because they would face different challenges in those areas.”

But what the selectors want is at odds with the cricket committee which has banned players with national team prospects from signing contracts outside the country while the local season is running.

Opening batsman Vusi Sibanda was banned from the national team after snubbing a local franchise contract to sign for an Australian club.

“It is unfortunate that in the case of Vusi the cricket committee had a different opinion but the world over players move around different leagues and countries, which helps them when they tour those countries with their national teams. We are happy with what happened with (Brendan) Taylor; he has been able to get contracts in New Zealand and also played in Bangladesh. You could see even though we struggled as a team he had a couple of good batting performances in New Zealand.”

Some players look set to tie up club cricket contracts in England. These include Test team opening batsman Tino Mawoyo, Regis Chakabva and middle-order batter Foster Mtizwa who are all England bound.

Kyle Jarvis is playing in New Zealand after sealing a deal just after Zimbabwe’s tour to that country in January.

The technical committee is also worried about lack of consistency among senior players.

“We want them to take more responsibility and be more consistent like Taylor. Hamilton Masakadza had a couple of good knocks towards the end of the New Zealand tour but then you wonder how he failed to bat as well as he did from the beginning. We want him, (Tatenda) Taibu and (Elton) Chigumbura to be more consistent so we will be working in that area too.”

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