Following Zimbabwe’s 3-2 defeat in the T20I series against Namibia, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has made major changes to the set-up, including the appointment of Sikandar Raza as the new captain.
Giving importance to Zimbabwe’s quest for a place in the upcoming T20 World Cup in the US and West Indies next year, the board also retained Dave Houghton as head coach in a bid to maintain continuity. That leaves Zimbabwe, ranked 11th in T20Is, with two captains in all three formats: Craig Ervine will continue to lead the Test and ODI teams.
Under Ervine’s captaincy, Zimbabwe had a winning percentage of 54% in 38 games, the best among Zimbabwe’s T20I captains. Raza has led Zimbabwe in four T20Is previously, between 2015 and 2021, all as a substitute.
The three-member men’s selection panel was also changed, with former fast bowler David Mutendera remaining as convener, but now Houghton and former captain Elton Chigumbura joining it.
Zimbabwe did not participate in the 2021 T20 World Cup because ZC was suspended by the ICC due to government interference in its administration. In the 2022 edition, they topped their group in the first round, but finished last (6th) in their Super 12 group and failed to automatically qualify for 2024.
To get there, Zimbabwe will play in the final of the African region qualifiers later this month alongside Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and hosts Namibia. Two teams from that competition will complete the 20-team lineup for the main edition in 2024.
Women’s team performance under scrutiny
The ZC also said the tenures of Zimbabwe women’s head coach Gary Brent, captain Mary-Anne Musonda and vice-captain Josephine Nkomo will be reviewed after the Africa T20 World Cup qualifier is completed in December. They have played just six T20Is all year and have a 1-5 record so far, the only tour being their series in Bangkok against Thailand.
With the next Men’s Under-19 World Cup set to be held in Sri Lanka early next year, Prosper Utseya has been given an extension as the team’s coach. Former fast bowler Kyle Jarvis was named one of the Under-19 selectors, along with Chigumbura (call-up), Jestinos Gwatiringa, Pollock Mubhobho and Leslie Makirimani.