Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) yesterday finalised the appointment of Heath Streak as the national team coach and the unveiling could be made today.
By Kevin Mapasure
ZC conducted interviews on Wednesday where four candidates that also included former Zimbabwe all-rounder Andy Blignaut, Uganda coach Peter Kirsten and Justin Summons were interviewed.
Sources at ZC yesterday told IndependentSport that a decision had been made and an announcement was imminent.
“A decision was reached, a circular has already been sent and as soon as the board members approve, an announcement will be made,” said the source. “Streak could be unveiled tomorrow (today), because he has to start preparing the team for the upcoming challenges.”
While Streak lacks experience as head of a technical team, he was always the favourite.
Streak will replace Dav Whatmore who was sacked in June following a spate of poor results which saw Zimbabwe fail to reach the World T-20 after they were knocked out by Afghanistan in the qualification round.
Before that, Zimbabwe lost back-to-back series against the Associate side in Bulawayo and Dubai.
ZC is demanding qualification to the 2019 International Cricket Council World Cup from the technical team and Streak is up to the task.
The Tavengwa Mukuhlani-led ZC board will wait for the new coach’s input on how the technical team should be composed.
It is likely that bowling coach Makhaya Ntini and batting consultant Lance Klusener will retain their posts.
Ntini presided over the team when they hosted India for a limited overs series which Zimbabwe lost as well as the two Test series against New Zealand.
Ntini had been tipped to take over from Whatmore but he blew his audition in the two tours and reverts to being one of the assistants.
Streak wants to see more younger players getting opportiunities and he will demand more tours for the players.
His first task will be leading Zimbabwe in their two-match Test series against Sri Lanka starting at the end of the month before the triangular series that involves the two nations as well as the West Indies which will be played in Harare and Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe will be looking to win more of the 50-over matches to try and get an otherwise unlikely automatic qualification to the global showcase that will be hosted in England.
Failure to get an automatic qualification, they would have to go through a qualifying tournament that will also draw associate sides.
Streak worked with the national team before as a bowling coach under Alan Butcher between 2010 and 2013.
After ZC decided against renewing his contract, he left and got a job as a bowling coach for Bangladesh, a post he held for two years before he left this year.
Having been successful as a specialist coach, Streak expressed the desire to reinvent himself into a technical team head and ZC has provided him with the platform.
The former Zimbabwe all-rounder is expected to start preparing the team for Sri Lanka next week.