ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) will not replace former batting coach Grant Flower after the association’s decision to abolish specialist coaching roles in the national team’s technical setup as part of their ongoing streamlining exercise.
Flower, a former national cricket team opening batsman was last month appointed the new Pakistan batting coach, leaving his post with the national side vacant.
A week later, former national team bowling coach, Heath Streak, who was not replaced after his contract was not renewed last year, also signed a two-year deal as Bangladesh bowling coach.
Sources within ZC said there were no plans to replace 43-year old Flower as the financially troubled association’s cricket committee resolved to abolish specialist coaching roles way back in 2012.
“You remember when Heath Streak’s contract was not renewed? It was part of the Zimbabwe Cricket committee review following the national team’s poor showing at the 2012 International Cricket Council World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka,” the source said..
“That review recommended the streamlining of the technical setup, which means doing away with the specialist posts of bowling and batting coaches.”
Another source said Flower was lucky to remain in his post as batting coach as ZC’s cricket committee had also recommended for his post to be abolished before the board decided to renew his contract.
“The ZC leadership later had a change of heart and decided to renew his contract, but effectively he should have left the same time when Heath Streak left. So now that he has taken up the same role in Pakistan, the post of batting coach is no longer on the national team’s coaching structure and he won’t be replaced,” the source said.
ZC’s decision not to replace Flower comes at a time when the financially troubled association has been on a nationwide restructuring exercise.
After reducing the number of franchises from five to four, ZC also cut the number of provincial contracts to nine players per each of the four franchises.
And as part of the cost-cutting measures, ZC has also trimmed down the number of development coaches while deciding to abolish chief executive posts of the domestic franchise system, replacing them with an administrator.
As a result, Vimbai Maiswa and Jon Brent, chief executive officerss of Mashonaland Eagles and Manicaland Mountaineers have not been offered new contracts.