ZC confirm Waller appointment

HARARE - Former international Andy Waller has been confirmed by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) as the new coach of the national side on a two-year contract.

The Daily News revealed Waller’s appointment earlier this year, although ZC delayed the official announcement.

But in a statement yesterday, ZC said the 53-year-old former Zimbabwe opener, father of current national team middle-order batsman Malcolm, will now take over as the new substantive coach.

“He will take over from acting national coach Stephen Mangongo, after the Bangladesh tour of Zimbabwe,” read the statement.

“The board also announced that Mangongo, who was appointed coach to take charge of the home team for the Teletalk 3G series against Bangladesh following the expiry of Alan Butcher’s contract on the 31st of last month, will become Waller’s deputy when the former Zimbabwe international takes over.”

ZC added that Waller will accompany Mangongo to Bulawayo for the limited-overs international matches of the on-going Bangladesh tour, as part of his settling in.

“Waller takes over the reigns at a time when the demands on our performance are very high but we are confident that the strategy he presented to us and his unique style of coaching will yield positive results,” said ZC chairman Peter Chingoka.

Waller’s cricketing career saw him become a regular in the Zimbabwe one-day side from the mid-1980s, appearing in the 1987, 1992 and 1996 World Cup squads. The top order batsman made his Test debut against England in 1996-97 and impressed with an innings of 50 runs. He retained his place for the second Test, which turned out to be his last in that version of the game.

Waller played another seven One-Day International matches before retiring due to injury.

Affectionately known in cricketing circles as “Bundu,” a nicknamed his son has inherited, Waller was described by his contemporaries as an entertaining batsman, an outstanding fielder, and a more than useful occasional medium-pace bowler.

He coached the Namibian cricket team before returning to Zimbabwe in April 2009 to take up the position of coaches’ manager, where he was responsible for supervising domestic coaching structures and setting up high-performance centres across the country.

When ZC introduced the franchise system in September 2009, Waller was named head coach of the Kwekwe-based Midwest Rhinos.

“I have high expectations going in but I do not want to take anything for granted. The bottom line is that we have a busy calendar of incoming tours and our performance needs to start reflecting the preparation that goes into these games. My long-term focus is to build a team of the future and I am looking forward to working with the boys,” said Waller.

Meanwhile, the ZC board has also re-appointed ex-national team coach Walter Chawaguta as the national Under-19 coach, taking over from former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris, whose contract expired.

The 40-year-old Chawaguta has previously coached the youth side. - Sports Writer

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