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Cricket team coach quits

Houghton resigned on the eve of yesterday’s board meeting having attended the consultative meeting at Harare Sports Club meant to find answers to the downward spiral. 

ZIMBABWE senior men’s cricket team coach, Dave Houghton, tendered his resignation with immediate effect as the pressure of losing to associate sides in recent games took its toll on the former Test captain.

Houghton took over the reins from Lalchand Rajput in June last year ahead of the T20 World Cup Qualifier. 

He brought some optimism into the side qualifying for the T20 World Cup played in Australia as results improved. 

However, the team missed out on a semi-final berth in Adelaide having made it into the Super 6 stage and with that subsequently missing out on an automatic entry at next year’s T20 World Cup set to be co-hosted by West Indies and USA. 

The Chevrons were relegated to the Africa Region Qualifiers for the expanded 20-team World Cup but failed dismally after defeats against Namibia and Uganda in Windhoek. Prior to that, the team had also missed out on the 2023 World Cup played in India after going down to Sri Lanka and Scotland at Queens Sports Club during the 50 overs World Cup Qualifiers in Harare and Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe also lost the home series to Ireland, 2-1 and 2-0 in the respective T20 and ODI games at Harare Sports Club recently.

Houghton resigned on the eve of yesterday’s board meeting having attended the consultative meeting at Harare Sports Club meant to find answers to the downward spiral. 

“I have always had Zimbabwe cricket at heart and, though my coaching of the national team comes to an end, I would love to be involved in other areas,” Houghton said in a statement.  

“The talent base in Zimbabwe is enormous. How we move players from talented to performing well on the international stage is a great project to be involved in.”

In a statement yesterday, ZC chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani said Houghton, who is part of the national team selection panel, will remain with the association as the board looks to reassign him to a new role within the organisation.

“Dave will always be a legend of our game and it is with regret that he felt the change room needed a new voice,” Mukuhlani said.

“While the past few months have been disappointing as we failed to qualify for both the 50-over World Cup and the T20 World Cup, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past year to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.

“Dave leaves the team with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts and we are looking forward to working with him in a different role as we seek to change our on-field fortunes.”

The statement added that an interim technical team will be announced soon to take charge of the team’s limited overs series in Sri Lanka set for early next year while a three-member committee was appointed during yesterday’s board meeting to investigate the failed T20 World Cup campaign.

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