Chevrons coach Houghton exceptional: Williams
Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE all-rounder Sean Williams has spoken highly of the impact made by Chevrons national team head coach Dave Houghton as he chose to deflect the spotlight from himself following a successful return to international cricket during the just-ended One Day International series against the Netherlands.
The 36-year-old, who recently recovered from a finger injury, was voted Man of the Match for his all-round performance during the series decider. Despite missing the opening match of the series, Williams was still chosen Man of the Series for his 120 runs and three wickets in the two games he played.
His contributions were essential as Zimbabwe recovered from a shock defeat in the first game to clinch the series 2-1.
“For us, winning is going to become a habit and the boys have to learn how to win all the time. Winning games starts in training, as well,” said Williams.
“Once you train correctly, you will start playing correctly and I think Dave Houghton and all the other coaches Stuart (Matsikenyeri) and Steve Kirby are all bringing that to the table for us. “I think the coaches need to be commended on everything they have done for us for the past year. From June last year up until now, I think they need a round of applause. They have been exceptional for us. “Their man management has been unbelievable, the training sessions have been unbelievable, they are trying to look after us in every way possible and have done anything and everything in their power to make sure that we are happy. I am sure they deserve a big applause for that,” said Williams.
The all-rounder has been out for the past two months with a finger injury. But he did not show signs of rust when he returned last week with a score of 77 runs. He then scored 43 and took 3/41 in the series decider.
“I think I am very fortunate as an individual,” he said. “I have been blessed with some talent and the mental side of my game is something that I really train hard. And, when I am training I know exactly what I need to do and when I need to do it, and I know my role in the team as a senior player and as a batsman, especially in the middle order,” said Williams. He also spoke glowingly of his Chevrons teammates in particular Wessly Madhevere, who attained a personal milestone after claiming a hattrick of wickets during the series, and Sikandar Raza.
“The guys have been playing, in particular Raza. He has been playing a lot of cricket and the guy is tired. We put a lot of weight on his shoulders and it’s nice now for him because we are starting to free that load.
“Freeing that load is a lot easier when you play a game and win. It’s so nice because everybody has contributed and it’s just all round smiles and I think that is huge. In the changing room the guys are commending each other for a lot of things.” On his finger niggle, Williams said: “I was supposed to have an operation and have two pins put in which I chose against because the pins were supposed to be in for six to 12 months and that would have put the World Cup in jeopardy.
“So I chose against that so as to play at the Word Cup. But I will be fine. I don’t think it’s broken but I will be okay with the coming break,” said Williams.
Zimbabwe are set to host the World Cup Qualifier between June 18 and July 9 in Harare and Bulawayo. After missing out on direct qualification, both Zimbabwe and the Netherlands will have a second bite of the cherry in the upcoming 10-team ICC World Cup Qualifier. “That’s a big one, it’s huge,” said Williams.
“I think the biggest advantage that we have now is that we are playing at home. We understand the pitches, we understand the outfield and we know everything.
“So, we can train accordingly and we can train the way we want to play and play that way. And, I think just having that alone, mentally, is a huge thing and just being able to train somewhere no one else can train, I think it’s priceless for us.