Zimbabwe: Divisions Bowl Out Coaches

As cricket fans grapple with specialist coaches Grant Flower and Heath Streak's exclusion from the Zimbabwe party for the West Indies, it has been established that internal divisions forced the Cricket Committee to recommend the axing of the two.

While speculation is rife that the reasons bowling coach Streak, batting coach Flower and fitness trainer Lorraine Chivandire were snubbed include a lack of finance, IndependentSport has established that the feeling within ZC is that the current set up that also includes head coach Alan Butcher and his assistant Steve Mangongongo has failed to click.

ZC communications manager Shingai Rhuhwaya yesterday confirmed that the decision was arrived at after recommendations from the Cricket Committee.

"This particular decision was made on the basis of recommendations by the Cricket Committee which includes reputable cricket greats Alistair Campbell, Dave Houghton and the late Kevin Curran who have 84 Tests and 290 ODIs between them," said Rhuhwaya. "After the World Cup the Cricket Committee interviewed senior players and the recurring theme was lack of cohesion within the coaching structure."

The committee, which also includes Cyprian Mandenge, Kapuya, and Chris Chiketa interviewed senior players, Brendan Taylor, Elton Chigumbura, Prosper Utseya, Ray Price, Hamilton Masakadza and Richard Muzhange.

While Rhuhwaya declined to discuss the details of that meeting it has been established that the committee saw "a need to review the whole technical structure".

They reviewed reports from the technical team from the World Cup where they noted it was improper for Flower to refuse to go to a match due to differences with convener Givemore Makoni.

It is understood Makoni and Flower clashed over who to play between Utseya and Price, and the batting coach threatened to stay away if Price was excluded.

According to minutes of that meeting, Campbell asked the players if there was unity within the camp and Taylor said the team was not pulling in the same direction.

Houghton also asked if the players felt the coaching staff had differences, which both Utseya and Taylor confirmed.

Chigumbura felt the structure was too big adding that he preferred to work under a coach and assistant only.

Houghton explained that there was no harmony in the team.

It is understood there are factions within the team and players take instructions from their preferred coaches.

There are players who choose to listen to Streak only, which is why the former captain has fallen victim.

It is against this background that the committee recommended a technical structure with a head coach, assistant coach, analyst, physiotherapist, fitness trainer and a manager to be appointed on a tour by tour basis.

Streak said yesterday the only clashes they have had were on selection.

"We have been working well and have no issues that I know of," Streak said.

"We have had debates and disagreements but those were only about selection, which is normal in this game."

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