The Sunday Mail
FIRED Zimbabwe national cricket team coach Dav Whatmore chose to go mum as his 18-month stint ended abruptly last week.
That the news of his sacking and that of skipper Hamilton Masakadza, had shaken him was clearly evident as the Sri Lankan-born Australian asked for his privacy be respected while he processes the news.
“I really appreciate your call, but I am not giving any interviews right now.
“I thank you dearly for reaching out to me but unfortunately I am not speaking to the media at this particular time,” said Whatmore.
Zimbabwe Cricket shocked the world when they fired Whatmore and Masakadza and replaced the pair with Makhaya Ntini and Graeme Cremer respectively just days before the visit of India.
The changes were not confined to the team alone, ZC also sacked the entire Kenyon Ziehl led selection panel and roped in former skipper Tatenda Taibu as convener of the new panel.
The new panel will now comprise Taibu, the soon to be appointed Chevron head coach, his assistant and the captain.
While the changes were long been overdue, the way ZC went about their business shows the shear short sightedness of the Tawengwa Mukuhlani led board.
The timing and general lack of communication during the process left a lot to be desired.
Interim skipper Cremer disclosed that he only got to know of his appointment through the media.
“As the captain I hope to settle in my new role quickly, it is something I had heard of but was not expecting so I was surprised when I read the news (in the papers) that I was new captain . . . ” he was quoted as having said.
Poor Whatmore was in the final stages of preparing for India’s visit and had taken the Chevrons away to Bulawayo for a team building exercise when ZC released the bombshell.
India are expected in the country, later this week, for a three ODI and three Twenty20 series slated for June 11-22 in the capital. Whatmore’s sacking brought to the fore ZC’s apparent obsession with laying all the blame for poor results on the coaches while ignoring their own failures.
Over the last nine years, Zimbabwe has had a total of eight coaches namely; the late Kevin Curran, Robin Brown, Walter Chawaguta, Allan Butcher, Andy Waller, Steve Mangongo, Dav Whatmore and now Makhaya Ntini albeit on an interim basis.
The height of the madness came during the 2007/2008 season when the Chevrons were coached by three different coaches in Curran, Brown and Chawaguta all in the space of twelve months.
As Whatmore gathers his thoughts it is prudent to highlight some of his successes.
Admittedly, his win/loss ratio (25%) does not make for pleasant reading but then again none of his predecessor fared any better.
Whatmore allowed a general sense of continuity within the Chevrons setup, picking up from where his predecessor Mangongo had left off.
Under his reign several fringe players, who had been identified and were in the process of being nurtured by Mangongo, were allowed to continue flourishing.Among them are the likes of Luke Jongwe, Neville Madziva, John Nyumbu, Wellington and Tendai Chisoro.
While Jongwe, Madziva and Nyumbu were given their debuts by Mangongo, Chisoro and Masakadza are exclusively Whatmore’s babies.