Heath Streak, our former captain, was named Head coach recently. Chosen ahead of a good number of candidates and as exciting the name sounds to Zimbabwean cricket, it also worries, will he be the man that brings back the good old glory days for the much loved sport and can he handle the commotion within the country’s cricket union? Fingers crossed!
My knowledge of the game goes way back when we had to watch cricket instead of my favourite shows on telly. The country has had a minimum of one television station as far as I can remember and when the team played, we had no other option, so we learnt the game and we began to love it.
We brought down giants of the game at one time and we flew our name high enough to become a force to reckon with before and inevitably just like anything else within the country, it was short down like a duck by the gun of corruption which induced player exodus, dodgy team selection, lousy performances, Zimbabwe Cricket scandals, the list goes on.
Its been really hard to concentrate on anything the team does these past years, its been a guarantee of failures and really, nothing to write home about. Cricket had quickly become the best of what Zimbabwe sports had to offer but sadly that offer didn’t last that long. I couldn’t get myself to watch a game in the empty stands that the team has been known to attract or on telly (as now I have many options).
Streak’s appointment has brought a particular sense of relief for many as this is a man that once captained us to numerous victories and gain considerable amount of experience in coaching after he left the team. This is where part of my confidence in him lies. Apart from the fact that he had a good hand bowling, lovely persona and a wonderful and powerful arm while batting. He is the kind of guy you would expect to get the job done.
But will he?
Top order batsman, Tino Mawoyo thinks he will.
“He is the best option we had available to us, he knows the players, knows the organisation (Zimbabwe Cricket) and therefore can understand the whole situation better than a foreign coach” Mawoyo said.
Sentiments that were echoed by many after his appointment but will Streak be patient enough to handle the ongoing Zimbabwe Cricket financial woes? With his coaching abilities, he is bound to look for opportunities to better his team, and these do not come cheap! Along with the fact that if he does get new players in, will they be enough money to keep them happy and not look for better wages?
This is what he faces and the reality will soon sink as he has a couple of games to prepare for in the next coming weeks. All eyes will be on whether he can continue his good player streak into coaching.
Mawoyo believes the players in the squad have to accept and follow his coaching.
“A few player say they have issues with him but the majority are happy with his appointment… He has to have his players prepared for international cricket, play constant games, improve facilities…and concentrate on cricket only..”
So it follows in any set up, not everybody will like you but if the majority does, then you have a likelihood of survival.
There are far too many issues that will hinder Streak in his new role but importantly he must note the current environment within the country as a whole. That cannot be left alone and pretend to want to deal with cricket all on its on, it might be a bit complicated. While his key focus should be on winning and doing enough to foresee a bright future for the game, he can barely achieve that if he has no backing of ZC, which has been known to be impatient with coaches and players alike.
I certainly hope for a change in the better to our cricket, far too many talented players within the country who have been let down by the system. Far too many people let down by the system, period!
I have hope in you Streak, do us proud and don’t give in or up easily. Stick to your guns and have them always cocked coz its a war out there son, its war!