Cricket

Zimbabwe Cricket announces Sean Williams as new Test captain

Zimbabwe Cricket has announced Sean Williams as the new Test captain, with Chamu Chibhabha picked to lead in ODIs and T20Is on an “interim” basis. A ZC release said the appointments were recommended by former captain and current director of cricket Hamilton Masakadza, who were then “unanimously endorsed” by the ZC Board at a meeting in Harare on Tuesday.

“The role of captain is an honour and a responsibility which Sean and Chamu thoroughly deserve, both of them being exceptional players and great servants of our game over the years,” Masakadza said.

“I am delighted that they have accepted their new roles and I extend my congratulations to them and wish them all the best as they help to take Zimbabwe to the next level.”

Williams was Zimbabwe’s T20I captain the last time they played, during a tri-series involving Nepal and hosts Singapore in October last year. Zimbabwe lost a match to Singapore in the series but effectively won the tri-series by finishing on top, as Williams was named Man of the Match in two of their four games. Williams will, incidentally, take over as captain from Masakadza, who led them in their last Test, against Bangladesh in November 2018.

Masakadza retired in September 2019 and took up his new position in the board a month later as ZC restructured its management.

Williams has played 179 international matches, while Chibhabha, with 139 international games to his name, will lead in international cricket for the first time. Chibhabha, however, hasn’t played international cricket in more than a year, having last featured in a T20I against South Africa in October 2018.

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ZC also announced a new selection panel to be led by former international quick bowler David Mutendera, and Gavin Ewing, Shepherd Makunura and Prosper Utseya the other members.

“Congratulations to all the selectors. Their qualifications and experience speak for themselves,” Masakadza said. “David is a respected former international who boasts massive playing and coaching experience, while he has also previously served as a national selector.

“Gavin has done exceptional work as a coach and national Under-19 selector since he retired from playing international cricket a few years ago and we are fortunate to draw from his heap of experience.

“Shepherd is a veteran coach who has earned the reputation of being a serial winner, dominating the domestic competitions with his Mountaineers side in recent seasons, and his appointment to the selection panel is well-deserved.

The Zimbabwe fielders lift Sean Williams in celebration

“Retaining Prosper on the panel will not only guarantee continuity but will also ensure that the game keeps benefitting from his massive knowledge of the game and experience.”

Walter Chawaguta, who was the convener of selectors since May 2018, will now be the Rhinos’ head coach, to be assisted by Stanley Chioza, who has been replaced as national team analyst by Mufaro Chiturumani.

The ZC release further said the board will announce a fielding coach and a mental strength coach in “due course”, and confirmed the other support staff members as follows: Lalchand Rajput (head coach), Dilip Chouhan (manager), Stuart Matsikenyeri (batting coach), Douglas Hondo (bowling coach), Walter Karimanzira (strength and conditioning trainer), Lovemore Banda (logistics manager) and Darlington Majonga (media manager).

Zimbabwe are due to host Ireland (April), India (August-September) and Netherlands (September) this year and are scheduled to travel to Bangladesh, Australia and Sri Lanka.

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