Champions Tuskers lament coach's exit

HARARE - Matabeleland Tuskers chief executive Stanley Staddon has bemoaned the departure of head coach Dave Houghton for Masvingo-based franchise Southern Rocks.

Houghton, a former Zimbabwe Test captain and coach, guided the Tuskers to successive Logan Cup titles in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons.

The Bulawayo-based franchise reclaimed its title in style last year after trouncing rivals Mashonaland Eagles by an innings and 30 runs in the final match at Queens Sports Club.

Houghton, however, crossed the floor to the Rocks ahead of the upcoming 2012-13 season, which begins with Coca-Cola Pro50 Championship matches on October 6.

Staddon said he had hoped the championship-winning coach would see the end of his five-year contract at Tuskers. Zimbabwe’s bowling coach Heath Streak has since taken over as Tuskers’ head coach.
Streak, who enjoyed a successful career with his home province as a player, will be assisted by Pollock Mbobo while former Zimbabwe international Wayne James will take charge of the team during Streak’s absence on national duty.

“We had an agreement with him (Houghton) that we would be together for five years at Tuskers, but unfortunately, he was taken away from us with three years still running on his contract,” Staddon told the Daily News at the weekend.

“I believe though that Heath Streak is capable of spearheading the team to more success in the coming season while working closely with the players because everything is not about the coach, he contributes 50 percent while the players and management complement with the other half.”

In an effort to retain their Logan Cup title, Matebeleland Tuskers have retained most of their players from last season.

They have also included a few former national team players on earn-as-you play contracts.

In addition to comeback kid Sean Williams, former Zimbabwe all-rounder Mluleki Nkala has been re-signed from Midwest Rhinos, unsettled former Zimbabwe star Sean Ervine will join at the end of the English county season while South African-born Steve Trenchard returns for another season at Queens Sports Club.

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