Masakadza denies discontent claims
By Farayi Machamire
HARARE – Zimbabwe senior batsman Hamilton Masakadza has hosed down suggestions of player discontent following continued speculation about drama in the camp.
Unorthodox coaching style, strict managerial methods and inconsistency is team selection has led to rumours of low morale in the team.
Struggling Zimbabwe lost the one-off Test against South Africa before suffering a series whitewash in the ODI series against the same opponent, and on Monday lost heavily to Australia by 198 runs in the opening tri-series match also involving the South Africans.
New head coach Stephen Mangongo has also faced criticism over heavy-handedness in his man management approach.
But Masakadza, who was flanked by Mangongo during a press conference yesterday, denied there’s any tension between the team and coach.
“I think whether someone feels safe or not it’s not something that has started now,” Masakadza told reporters.
“Whatever sport it is you are never sure. I think that won’t really affect the morale of the team. I think it’s not anything new.
“But obviously the morale will be down because we haven’t put the performances that we expect to put out there and that’s the only thing we should look at.
“I think for me at the end of the day, once you do get picked, the biggest thing is playing for your country. So everything else comes secondary. You (are) out there to represent your nation.”
Masakadza’s own place in the team has also come under threat after selectors decided to drop him along with Brendan Taylor during the Proteas ODI series before Wayne James questioned the wisdom of dropping two senior players at the same time.
James was axed as selector days later.
“Well, obviously you don’t really know what happens behind the scenes and you can’t believe everything that you read,” Masakadza said.
“But the fact of the matter remains. In any professional sport if you are not doing your job and you are not performing then obviously you can’t feel safe about your place.”
Masakadza feels Zimbabwe should take a leaf out of South Africa’s successful 327 run chase against Australia on Wednesday.
“It was a brilliant game of cricket and I think what stood out in that game was how positive both teams were. So that’s one thing we can learn from.”
Mangongo, meanwhile, insisted on discipline among his troops.
“It’s a straightforward scenario. If people are not doing their job then you look at all possible available personnel to work with until we get it right, simple and straightforward,” he said.
“So that’s the reason why we have had the shifting, the chopping and changing because people are not doing their job. Facts don’t lie, we are number 10, they are number one and two, facts don’t lie.
“We have to work hard so we can to improve and narrow the gap, simple and straightforward.
“It’s not gonna happen overnight, (or) over one day. Yes, we know that and we are well aware of it and we are determined to improve and become a better team.” Daily News