Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani has described the national team’s recent embarrassing defeat to associate side Afghanistan as unacceptable promising to take necessary action.
The senior men’s national team lost both the One Day International (ODI) and the T-20 series to minnows Afghanistan in matches that were played at Queens Sports Club over the last two weeks, as the team hit an all-time low.
The disappointment came on the back of success when the team beat Ireland 2-1 in an ODI series that was played at Harare Sports Club earlier in the month.
While series losses to India, New Zealand and Pakistan this year may be acceptable, the loss to an associate side has left alarm bells ringing loud.
Under pressure to redeem themselves, the national team is faced with a more daunting task when it tours Bangladesh on Sunday where they will play three ODIs and two T-20s.
Mukuhlani said while they will need to find immediate solutions for the team to dig itself out of the hole, investing more in development will be their long term solution.
“The situation cannot be resolved by a quick fix. We need to be sober and we need to engage everyone who matters. We need to look at our shortfalls,” said Mukuhlani in an interview with IndependentSport.
“Having said that, what is glaring about the results is that they are a testimony of the status of our game at the moment. They indicate what we said when we came in, that we need to invest more resources into development structures.”
He added that his organisation would organise more matches for the feeder team, the Zim A, to prepare players adequately for their next step.
“We need our A team to play more international cricket and fortunately they have started enjoying more game time. They played Ireland and now they will play Bangladesh A. We need a connection from club cricket to provincial, the A side through to the national team. We need to bridge gaps that we have in that line,” said Mukuhlani.
He however said ZC needs to come up with solutions to improve results.
“Having said that we take full responsibility of the results that were produced by the team. They do not reflect what we anticipated, and it’s something we cannot accept because they are not in line with our status as a Test playing nation. They have, however, shown us the gaps that we need to fill in and we will continue with our thrust of development.”
The ZC board has convened emergency meetings to discuss the unexpected turn of events when Zimbabwe hit its all-time low, by becoming the first Test side to lose a series to an associate side.
“Development will not give you results in the next series, so we still need to find solutions over the current situation; we want to look at what we can mitigate. We are the custodians of the game, so discussions have started to take place as we seek solutions and a turnaround,” he said.