ANOTHER CRICKET REBELLION?
5 April 2018
…Fired Streak lobbies for support
…Coltart leads anti-ZC campaign
Opinion by Farai Nyikadzino
SACKED Heath Streak appears to be soliciting for support from other fired technical members, some players and the public to wage a war against the Zimbabwe Cricket board.
Streak alongside Lance Klusener (batting coach), Walter Chawaguta (fielding coach), Stanley Chioza (analyst), Sean Bell (fitness trainer) and Anesu Mupotaringa (physiotherapist) were fired after Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Convener of selectors, Tatenda Taibu, wasn’t spared either.
The decisions have been met with mixed feelings with a number of fans saying there was need to keep Streak in the job despite failing to qualify for the World Cup.
Recent developments in Streak’s communication suggests that he will not let it go easily.
“Just off the phone to Faisal. The ZC Board met last Sunday and has asked ALL of us to RESIGN with immediate effect including Tatenda and Graeme as captain. We will be paid out 3 months salary. We can then re-apply for positions but there are “NO” guarantees. Been asked to communicate and ask you for your answers.
“I am bitterly disappointed in ZC’s approach to this and feel it’s going yo (sic) get messy. Let me know your thoughts,” Streak said in communication to a WhatsApp group for the national team leadership.
Interestingly, Streak removed team management from the “Chevrons Hp Team” Whatsapp group as they were not affected by the board decision and, thus, remain ZC employees.
Yesterday David Coltart, who has featured in numerous battles against Zimbabwe Cricket since the controversial integration exercise 17 years ago, wrote a very long piece attacking ZC and posted it on all available platforms.
As part of his conclusion to the 3000-word document, Coltart said he had gathered enough facts to warrant the Sports Commission involvement and suspension of the entire ZC board.
“It will then be up to the Minister of Sport to act in terms of section 30(2) of the SRC Act to appoint a committee to administer the affairs of Zimbabwe Cricket pending the rewriting of its constitution and the election of a new Board which will efficiently take Zimbabwe Cricket forward,” wrote Coltart.
Rewind to 2004 when Streak was dismissed as captain, he urged other nations to stop touring Zimbabwe.
“If England come, it would suggest they agree with what is going on. I don’t think any country should be coming to play cricket in Zimbabwe until they have fixed the problem, whether it be England, Australia or Bangladesh.”
Those in support of ZC say it looks like nothing has changed in the 15-years: Streak just should not be fired!
But how many coaches has ZC dismissed before and after him?
ZC have had to fire Andy Waller, Stephen Mangongo, Dav Whatmore and Makhaya Ntini.
If Mangongo was fired for performance, why not Streak? Both are coaches surely, or is there a difference between them?
Upon appointment, a ZC statement stated that qualification for the ICC CWC 2019 was a key deliverable in Streak’s contract and failure in a key deliverable is a dismissible offence.
On accepting the job in 2016, Streak said:
“My promise is I will leave no stone unturned in terms of our endeavor and our quest to improve the team’s performances. I believe that we have the resources here in Zimbabwe to do just that and planning is obviously going to be a major factor.”
ZC managing director, Faisal Hasnain, sent a confidential message to Streak but the outgoing coach posted it on social media and the assumption her is that he was looking for public support.
It is my understanding that exposure of otherwise confidential correspondence is a dismissible offence. Another dismissible act by the same Streak.
I would want to question the sense of responsibility of a national coach, who tries to arouse player power against elected leadership.
Streak said he did not resign because it would have been “humiliating” to the players. Students being humiliated when there is a change in staff?
And where was humiliation when Makhaya Ntini was dismissed earlier this year? It is worth noting here rumours that did the rounds around that time that Streak may have had something to do with the dismissal.
Perhaps over a clash of egos stemming from their rivalry with the ball during playing careers where Ntini achieved much more while playing for South Africa.
Brian Vitori was cited during the match against Nepal in Bulawayo. Why was he allowed to play in the following match – versus Afghanistan, thus allowing video evidence to be collected against him in that match and then used to nail him?
I am not aware of the head coach following up with the player to discuss his rehabilitation but we have heard he has suggested that he be considered for training as fitness instructor.
Is that what you want, Vitori?
Or is the choice being made for you because you served your purpose, as you did against was it Sri Lanka when you were brought back prematurely and then called again?
I also understand that a sympathetic official hinted to the Zimbabwe brains trust in Dubai that Vitori’s action was still suspect. I am not aware of what the trust did with this information.
The ZC Board supported preparations with tours to Bangladesh where the team also played Sri Lanka and then Afghanistan in the UAE.
Streak and Taibu were given free reign on selection but it appears there were no lessons learnt after the Bangladesh and UAE tours.
After massive losses to Afghanistan, only changes made were Sean Williams, who was also in any way but recuperating, and so only change Cephas Zhuwao, who was in fact forced on Streak by public demand and the board.
Additionally, off-form Malcolm Waller was proving to be excess baggage but just continued being selected until another public outcry.
However, Streak then left Zhuwao out in the crucial do-or-die against UAE opting for Peter Moor who had not played a competitive match since the Bangladesh tri-series. And the question is why the change in that selection?
And also the treatment of Tendai Chisoro, who is a proven wicket-taker and lower order run scorer but was dropped in a must-win match.
Then with those preparations and freedom to select your side fails and you cry foul?
Normally when a team performs dismally, the least expected is that the coach will resign as a gesture of acknowledgement to shortchange stakeholders. The Kenya coach and captain did so when the East Africans failed to make it to Harare.
Why did Streak and Cremer not do the same?
Cricket Australia’s handling of the ball-tampering incident in South Africa is testimony of how the board should act and not tolerate any bad behaviour let alone bad performances and results.
Why should Zimbabwe be an exception?
In his lobbying, Streak has included spectators in his charm offensive, thanking what he called the biggest numbers he has ever seen at cricket even during his playing days. Thanks to you Streaky, we will not see those crowds at Harare or Queens Sports Clubs in a long time because when they came you did not give them what they wanted. Surprisingly for the love you professed for them you did not see it within you to fall on your sword in remorse. No wonder you have been accused of always looking out for yourself.
And by the way, Zimbabwe is knocked out on Thursday and on Friday you are lodging your leave application for the IPL. Had your tears dried already? Or you had none.
ZC are not saints at all, there are a number of wrong things happening that need to be addressed in the new era that has been forced on us. The ZC issues are a matter for another day but for today I want this entitlement culture to end –there is more to cricket than a small clique.
HEATH STREAK 2016-2018
P W L D Abn
6 0 5 1 0
P W L T NR
32 12 17 2 1
P W L T NR
2 0 2 0 0
Unofficial One-Day games
P W L T NR
4 3 1 0 0
***Farai Nyikadzino is an ardent Chevrons follower who has close ties with members of the national cricket team.