Well said Bundu!

HARARE - When the decision was made to appoint Andrew ‘Bundu’ Waller as Zimbabwe's head coach, there would have been a collective sigh of appreciation as well as a feeling of hope and belief that maybe, just maybe the team would be able to get back to the dangerous team of the mid-90s and early 2000's.

Fitness, discipline motivation, pride and self-belief have all fallen by the wayside over the course of the last nine years, as the various coaches came and went, without really leaving an impression on the players, or getting the team to gel.

When Alan Butcher took over, players were pretty much allowed to do whatever they wanted to do, as he felt that a gentle approach was needed to get the best out of the team, saying that: "The team were constantly been shouted at".

Sadly, his fatherly love saw players often arriving late for practice, and the fielding which was Zimbabwe's pride and reputation became appalling!

As in a blink of an eye, they underwent an alarming transformation from being the world's best fielding unit, to the world's worst fielding unit.

Waller, who is a man of few words has already made two statements in a short space of time that has once again rekindled the waning interests and flagging spirits of cricket lovers in the country by saying that he wants his team to be ranked in the top eight when the next World Cup comes around in two years’ time, as well as being the world’s fittest team.

Although these may sound like massive statements, it is nice to hear that he isn't using words such as rebuilding and inexperience.

Although Waller has made it abundantly clear that he will not tolerate any form of indiscipline, such as lack of fitness, or any of the other areas of concern that has hampered the team's progress, he has also made it very clear that he is very impressed with his current squad of 24 that he has.

This means that Waller's assessment of the team is very well-balanced and not at all one sided.

He has expressed concern and disappointment in certain areas, saying that some of the players are soft both physically and mentally, and that he would not hesitate to leave players out, should they not pass fitness tests, which would already have put any thoughts of the coach showing favour towards players firmly to bed.

In fact, one feels that his son Malcolm would be walking on egg shells with the knowledge that should he underperform, he would be watching the action on his couch instead of the pitch.

The most obvious question would be...

Is Waller expecting too much from a team who have never really developed over the last nine years? Is he been to unrealistic?

My personal opinion is that he is being honest and very realistic.

For once, a coach has taken over with a very clear vision and he knows what he wants from his team.

He knows what the players are capable of, and more than likely feels that 90 percent of the players have been underperforming, and have been quite content to stay in their comfort zone.

Now, it is up to the players to prove Waller correct. Yes, we are all very aware of the current state of financial affairs, and many people feel that the players are not giving their best because of the on-going financial restraints.

But, the reality is this...

Nobody is pointing a gun at their heads and forcing them to play.

If they are deliberately underperforming due to non-payment, it may be better for them to seek employment elsewhere.

Yes, we all need money to sustain ourselves and our families, but at the same time, you have no right to become sloppy and tardy at work.

So to quote the headlines of an article earlier this week...

"Shape up, or ship out"... - Dean du Plessis

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