By Austin Karonga
Zimbabwe senior men cricket team coach Heath Streak has given an emotional farewell to the local cricket fans and his charges led by Captain Graeme Cremer following a 24-hour ultimatum given to him by his paymasters on Thursday.
The former national team skipper got the flake for the team’s poor show in the just ended International Cricket Council World Cup Qualifiers which saw them failing to qualify for next year’s World Cup in England and Wales after losing to Associate United Arab Emirates in their decisive encounter at Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) gave him and his crew a 24-hour ultimatum on Thursday to either resign or get sacked by 3pm on Friday. He refused to resign meaning effectively he is out of employment together with the entire technical setup comprising of batting consultant Lance Klusener, fielding coach Walter Chawaguta then interim bowling coach Douglas Hondo and convenor of selectors Tatenda Taibu.
“It is with great regret and shock that I was told by ZC that myself and my coaching team must resign by 3pm yesterday (Friday), failing which we would be fired. I chose NOT to resign as I believe this to be degrading to our National Players and my tech (technical) team,” wrote Streak.
“As a result, we have been dismissed with immediate effect. Firstly, I want to thank the Zimbabwean fans, friends and family, who supported us so passionately during the CWC Qualifiers. I have never seen such support even when I played for Zimbabwe…it was truly inspirational and drove us to dig deep and give our all.”
The stick did not end with the national team as it extended to the Zimbabwe A side coached by Hondo and the Under 19 national team coached by Steve Mangongo who was supported by bowling coach Prosper Utseya and Greg Lamb as batting coach. The U19s crime was for finishing in 11th place at the U19 World Cup in New Zealand although it took the board more than three months to come up with a decision.
Mangongo said he will not be going anyway.
“Thank you to my staff who worked tirelessly, often going for months unpaid and having had two pay cuts during their tenure, but still had that unwavering professional commitment. It has been a privilege gentleman,” Streak added.
“To Graeme (Cremer) and all the players, thank you for your patriotism and commitment to our Chevrons team. I wish you all the very best for the future. I am deeply saddened that my journey with you ends here. Hopefully our paths will meet again in future.” Daily News