The Sunday Mail
Zimbabwe Cricket team batting coach Grant Flower has challenged senior batsmen to work hard and perform saying failure to deliver could see some make way for youngsters. Batting has been an area of major concern in the country with low scores frequent at club and franchise level extending to the senior team.
Zimbabwe never really fired with the bat in their three preliminary group matches at the recent World T20 with middling scores against lowly Associates nations.
Flower admitted little game time and few tours against top nations negatively affected the local game but castigated some indolent batters.
“They don’t play enough competitive cricket against other nations yes but some of them are lazy, some work hard others don’t. They don’t react to pressure as well as they could, which is a big factor,” Flower said.
“I think our national players have been playing for a while and it’s not like they lack experience.
“They have played a lot of international cricket, so it might be time to try some other people in place of guys who aren’t performing.
“Guys have been given lots of chances over a long time obviously it hasn’t helped with our domestic cricket being on and off, guys going on strike because they haven’t got paid you can’t blame the players on that.”
There are a number of tours coming up later this year against top teams Australia and South Africa in August while Zimbabwe will tour Bangladesh and another home series against Pakistan could be on in December.
Flower reckons playing top nations is a good challenge for the cricket-starved players especially with the World Cup next year in Australia and New Zealand.
“It is a good thing, those are the sort of games they need to play. If we are not playing the top nations we need to be playing associates,” said the Midwest Rhinos franchise coach.
The former Zimbabwe international was pleased with upcoming youngsters Mashonaland Eagles’ 16-year-old Nick Welch who nearly became the youngest batsman to score a first class century scoring 83 in his second match and Southern Rocks’ Luke Jongwe who has been in scintillating form since the ICC U19 World Cup.
“Jongwe has been to the World Cup, he is doing well, Nick Welch is also doing well he is going be a good player and hopefully those guys stay in the country and they don’t go to England.
“We have lost good players Sean and Craig Ervine, Nathan (Waller) obviously other people have come to take their places but Zimbabwe can’t afford to keep losing players like that.’