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THE Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board has reacted to the recent national team debacle in Bangladesh by firing coach Steve Mangongo, and has lined up Australian Dave Whatmore as his replacement.

ZC board chairman Wilson Manase emerged from a board meeting in Harare yesterday to make the announcement at a press conference.

He said the board would appoint a new head coach and a batting coach to join assistant and bowling coach Douglas Hondo, who was spared the axe. Convener of selectors Givemore Makoni also survived the chop but the selection committee has been restructured to comprise Makoni, Hondo (by virtue of being national team assistant coach), the head coach, captain and selector Babu Meman.

Manase said the new national team technical set up would be announced after Christmas, but IndependentSport has learnt Whatmore would lead the new coaching regime.

Whatmore was in Bangladesh watching as Zimbabwe slumped to a three Test-match whitewash as well as a five-match ODI series whitewash. It was the first time Zimbabwe had suffered such humuliation against Bangladesh in both formats and ZC yielded to public pressure to remove Mangongo.

Mangongo will be given a peripheral role in the national Under-19 set up.

“Following the Bangladesh defeats we decided to conduct investigations as to why we failed so badly,” said Manase.” And after considering reports from both the technical team and players we have resolved to restructure the technical set up. We have decided to relieve Mangongo of his post as national team coach and we are likely to announce the new coach after Christmas. We will also appoint a batting coach in the new set up but Hondo retains his post as assistant and bowling coach.”

Manase said most of Mangongo’s success has been in talent identification and nurturing, thus they would want to retain his expertise in that area. He hinted that the new coach would be an international figure with vast coaching experience at the top level.

Whatmore has previously coached Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan which he left earlier this year.

During Whatmore’s stint as Bangladesh coach they recorded famous ODI wins against Australia, South Africa and India as well as their first Test win against Zimbabwe.

He had two spells as Sri Lanka coach as well as coaching in County cricket.

“As we gear up for the World Cup we hope the new technical team as well as the selection panel will enhance the team’s performance. The coaches we want to appoint are experienced people and we can only get better under such guidance,” said Munase.

ZC is also yet to finalise the appointment of Alistair Campbell as managing director cricket, but the two parties already have an agreement in principle.

Source : Zimbabwe Independent

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