What is the true meaning of this madness?

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket made an announcement on Tuesday that has left every cricket followers in the country speechless and flabbergasted.

 The announcement was that both Heath Streak and Grant Flower, who are the national bowling and batting coaches respectively, will not be traveling with the national team to the West Indies.

 The team are due to leave for the Caribbean islands on February 16 where they will engage the West Indies in three ODIs, two T20 internationals, as well as two Test matches.

 The only problem is that they will be minus a bowling and batting coach.

 The question is, is it due to the massive financial constraints ZC find themselves under, or, is there something that has been well hidden and may very possibly be beginning to come to the surface.

 Either way, the decision to leave Streak and Flower behind may be a huge disadvantage to the players.

 Between the two of them, Streak and Flower have represented the country in 132 Test matches and 410 ODI matches.

 They have scored more than 8000 Test runs between them, and taken close to 250 wickets in Test matches.

 They also had several successful seasons with English county sides Warwickshire and Essex respectively.

 No matter what challenges Zimbabwe cricket faced, be it financial, lack of space, or differences of opinion, the welfare of cricket must always be put above anything else.

 There are a number of young players who will be nerves on this tour, and the likes of Flower and Streak would have gone a long way to calm the nerves of the players. So, it goes without saying that the players will benefit considerably less without their mentors who they looked up to while growing up.

 The big question now is... who will spend time with the seamers and correct their mistakes?

 Alan Butcher, although a vastly experienced player on the first-class circuit, was an opening batsman and not a frontline seamer like Streak.

 All the major Test-playing nations have a coaching staff that cover all the required areas, which is another one of the many reasons why Zimbabwe are found wanting.

 They have a head coach, a batting coach and most of the countries now even have a fielding coach.

 These structures are not only at senior level, but, when the Under-19 teams of Pakistan and South Africa toured Zimbabwe in 2009 and 2010, they also had a full compliment of coaches.

 This latest development is very worrying, and one can't help but sense the gathering of dark and threatening clouds over the game which is the very last thing an already shaky governing body needs.

 If Zimbabwe Cricket are as passionate about the game and the growth and development of the game as the fans are, they surely have to reconsider their decision, and the repercussions  of their decision. - Dean Du Plessis

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