ZC engage Houghton

Former Zimbabwe national team coach Dave Houghton is set to be appointed head coach for Mountaineers following Shepherd Makunura’s return to Southern Rocks which has been reestablished after it had been dissolved.

Kevin Mapasure

The Logan Cup season kicks off on December 3 and yesterday Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) announced a raft of new appointments which have seen recently-retired former Zimbabwe captain Elton Chugumbura getting a coaching role.

Chigumbura has been appointed players/assistant coach for Eagles while Shingi Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Cephas Zhuwao and Njabulo Ncube take up similar roles at Mountaineers, Rhinos, Southern Rocks and Tuskers respectively.

While ZC confirmed that Makunura was moving to Rocks, they only said the new coach for Mountaineers would be announced in due course.

IndependentSport has established that Houghton, who is the current head coach of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, will fill in the void at Mountaineers as there will be no cricket in England during the time that the Zimbabwe domestic competitions will be running.

He is expected to start presiding over his team before the start of the first round of Logan Cup matches that begin on December 3.

Houghton toured Zimbabwe with Derbyshire earlier this year but their visit was cut short following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

All the players and officials taking part in the domestic competitions are expected to get into a bio bubble following the spike in Covid-19 cases in the country.

The ZC board on Wednesday had a virtual meeting where the return of Rocks was ratified and the administration released a statement yesterday outlining resolutions from the indaba.

“Southern Rocks have bounced back as the fifth first-class team ahead of the start of Zimbabwe’s 2020/21 domestic season on 3 December,” the ZC statement reads. “This was confirmed by the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) Board during its virtual meeting held on Wednesday. Southern Rocks, who last played in the elite domestic competitions in the 2013-14 season, have replaced the Alistair Campbell High Performance Centre team that failed to have a new academy intake this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“During the meeting, the Board also confirmed the coaching structure for the elite provincial sides. This sees Shepherd Makunura, who was in charge of Mountaineers, moving to Southern Rocks as their coach. His replacement at Mountaineers will be announced in due course.”

The squads for the this season have not yet been announced, but Rocks are expected to have among others Sikandar Raza, Blessing Muzarabani, Zhuwawo and the Kaia brothers Roy and Innocent on their list.

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