Taylor is worried that Zimbabwe are taking a ”step in the wrong direction”
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has voiced his disgust towards the recent cuts in coaching staff, calling it a ”step in the wrong direction” that would ultimately do more harm than good for a country struggling to pose any kind of threat to all the other international teams.
Zimbabwe Cricket recently underwent a change in technical structure, which sees smaller parties going on tour from now onwards.
This means that batting coach Grant Flower, bowling coach Heath Streak and fitness trainer Lorraine Chivandire will not accompany the national team during any of their overseas tours and can only prepare them before the tour begins.
Zimbabwe are currently in the Caribbean and have not played any ODIs or Tests since their tour of New Zealand in January and February 2012.
“It’s a massive concern not having Grant, Heath and Lorraine with us for the upcoming tour to the West Indies,” Taylor said on his Facebook page. “For me personally as a captain and a batter, and I can speak on behalf of the others in the side, we are taking steps in the wrong direction by doing this.”
Taylor was extremely concerned about not having Flower, who was part of the national team until 2010, to coach the batsmen since they play an integral role in giving the bowlers something to defend.
“We will never have a guy like Grant Flower ever again as a batting coach and this is how he is being treated,” Taylor added. “His work ethic is second to none. He is qualified as a level 4 coach (can’t get any higher). I recall times where he has thrown to the guys from 9am through to 5pm for weeks on end. You might say that is his job, but no one will do it better.
“The bit of success that myself and others have had over the past couple of years, I put that down to Grant Flower. People are saying the preparation should have been done prior to the tour, that’s correct. But preparation on tour is vital too, let alone their knowledge, advice and their experience that could be shared on a daily basis.”
Taylor has promised to lead the national team to the best of his abilities, but urged Zimbabwe Cricket to reconsider its newly implemented policy.
“In saying this, all we hope is to do everyone proud and sincerely appreciate your support,” he said. “Let’s hope changes are made.”
Once Zimbabwe sports minister David Coltart received confirmation that the Facebook post was put up by Taylor himself, he said that he was “very concerned” about the ongoing situation.
“I am concerned to note that although Zimbabwe Cricket state that they had consulted the players prior to making this decision it appears as if they did not, at the very least, consult the captain,” Coltart told ESPNcricinfo a little later. “Be that as it may I think that all measures possible need to be taken to build a cohesive spirit within the team in the build up to the tour to the West Indies, and I encourage Zimbabwe Cricket to bear that in mind in all the decisions they make.
“Given the concerns raised by the captain, concerns which the captain states are shared by the rest of the players, I trust that Zimbabwe Cricket will take their views into account and review this decision in the best interests of both cricket and Zimbabwe. This tour is not just about cricket but about the positive branding of Zimbabwe as a nation. For that reason it is imperative that Zimbabwe Cricket always act in the national interest.”
Zimbabwe are also in the process of finding a replacement for head coach Alan Butcher, who will not be renewing his contract when it expires in April.
As of right now, Zimbabwe Cricket have three candidates who they believe are qualified to replace Butcher.
Firstly is Flower, second is assistant coach Stephen Mangongo and last but not least is Andy Waller, a former Zimbabwe batsman in his own right and the ex-head coach of Namibia.