An all-round disgrace: Watambwa

HARARE - Former Test paceman Brighton Watambwa has blamed coaching frailties and shambolic selection for Zimbabwe’s annihilation in Bangladesh, but wasn’t quite ready to spare the players. 

Zimbabwe lost all three Tests and five ODIs on tour in Bangladesh, drawing the ire of fans who have reacted to the humiliating whitewash by demanding radical overhaul of the game across the board. 

There were murmurs of dressing-room discontent in the team during the tour, over among other things, the coaching methods of Stephen Mangongo and the unorthodox team selection in which no one seems guaranteed of a place at any given time – factors which according to Watambwa contributed in a big way to the subcontinent carnage.

“Given the selection and coaching issues that have rocked the team in the last few months, it seems morale and confidence is very low and things have to change if this side is to stand any chance of improving,” said the ex-Zimbabwe speedster, who now captains adopted country Belgium in the European Cricket Championships.

“The first changes have to be with selection and coaching. The likes of the Flower brothers, Heath Streak, Trevor Penney are all assets lost to Zimbabwe cricket, and you see the impact they have had on their respective sides and then you look at the Zim coach and you know that no affiliate member of ICC would ever come knocking for his services, and yet here he is coaching a Test side. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who thinks coaching Eaglesvale Under-15s, while having no decent playing experience, can qualify someone to coach a Test team. I don’t say that a coach needs to have been an exceptional player by any means, but it’s difficult to actually see what he brings to the table.”

37-year-old Watambwa, who showed great promise in six Test matches for Zimbabwe before prematurely quitting international cricket in 2002, also criticised the national side selection process, which has seen players being picked and dropped in the team in an unsystematic manner. 

“Furthermore, this selection policy, leaving out players for very arbitrary reasons when you cannot afford to do that shows a dictatorial style that will no doubt cause disharmony in the team,” Watambwa said.

“Things need to change and fast. The World Cup is a few months down the road and where will Zimbabwe cricket go if we lose to the likes of Ireland or whatever affiliate members will be there? The new admin need to make big changes before Zimbabwe cricket falls by the wayside. No one wins if the situation stays as it is.”

Technical and administration issues aside, Watambwa says players should also take a huge amount of flak for the results.

“It’s a disgrace all-round so I don’t really care,” he said.

“Let’s be honest, the players are representing their country and when they step onto that field they need to forget all the off-field nonsense.

“Without a doubt, Zim’s performance in Bangladesh was a disgrace. It’s difficult to really put into words what it’s like to see the team play like that against a very average Bangladesh side. With one or two exceptions, and Hamilton (Masakadza) comes to mind, the players have disgraced themselves and the country. This is too embarrassing and we're gonna lose full member status if things do not change, which is unacceptable.”

Comments (1)

zimbabwe cricket is not very good but MAngongo you are worse. Mangongo you are a "Dis_GRACE"

Please MAngo - 5 December 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.