Cricket ace Masakadza faces axe . . . ZC to act on probe findings
Brandon Moyo Sports Reporter
CRICKET legend Hamilton Masakadza looks set to be axed as director of cricket as the national body acts to stop the rot following the adoption of a report on the problems bedevilling the game.
On Saturday, the Zimbabwe Cricket Board received a report on findings by a three-member Committee of Inquiry chaired by Lloyd Mhishi.
The committee was set up last year to probe the Chevrons’ failure to qualify for the 2023 International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup, 2024 T20 World Cup, and as well as to review ZC’s cricket affairs structure.
The other two members of the committee are Godfrey Nyadongo and Blessing Ngondo. After deliberating on the findings, the Tavengwa Mukuhlani-chaired ZC Board resolved to adopt the report in its entirety and to immediately implement the committee’s recommendations.
From the recommendations, some of the major highlights include restructuring ZC’s Cricket Affairs Department and its personnel and restructuring ZC’s domestic and development pathway.
The committee also recommended that the Board advertise to fill the positions of the Zimbabwe senior men’s national team and the Zimbabwe Under-19 men’s national team head coaches which became vacant following the resignations of Dave Houghton and Prosper Utseya respectively.
Some of the other recommendations also include the restructuring of the coaching set-ups at the First Class Level, establishing a national academy, and setting up indoor training facilities in all five First Class provinces.
Renowned coach Chawaguta — who was Chevron’s interim head coach — has been named as the new Zimbabwe senior women’s national team head coach, taking over the reigns from Gary Brent who formally resigned from his role in October last year but left the hot seat in January after serving a three-month notice. Trevor Garwe was the acting Lady Chevron’s head coach.
“Management was tasked to look at all the recommendations made by the Mhishi Committee and present an action plan to the board within four weeks.
“During the meeting, the Board also confirmed Walter Chawaguta as the substantive head coach of the Zimbabwe senior women’s national team, while Prosper Utseya’s resignation from his position as head coach of the Zimbabwe Under-19 men’s national team was accepted,” read a statement from ZC.
Reports suggested that Utseya tendered in his resignation Monday last week — before Zimbabwe Under-19s Super Six match against South Africa at the World Cup — to pursue a different challenge abroad.
Utseya is believed to be relocating to the USA where he has found a job as a junior team coach.
Results had become a major concern for Zimbabwe after they lost against Associate teams, Namibia and Uganda at the T20 World Cup qualifiers late last year, becoming the only full member to miss out on the 2024 T20 World Cup.
Before that, the Chevrons also lost to Scotland at the ODI World Cup Qualifiers in July (2023) on home soil.
That 2022 T20 World Cup is the only World Cup out of a possible five that Zimbabwe has featured in over the last five years.
They missed out on the 2019 and 2023 50-over World Cups and 2021 and 2024 T20 World Cups. As a consequence of not being at the 2023 World Cup, they will also not play in the 2025 Champions Trophy, which leaves their next opportunity for a men’s World Cup in 2026, at the T20 event.
Following the Committee of Inquiry’s recommendations, the ball now lies in ZC’s court to make sure they implement what was suggested to help grow and develop the game in the country.
Adverts for the new Chevrons and Young Chevrons head coach positions are also expected to be out soon.