Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
HEATH Streak will be unveiled as the new national team head coach in Bulawayo today unless Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) springs a shocker.
ZC has invited media houses to the unveiling of the new coach at a press conference slated for Queens Sports Club in the city.
“We are pleased to invite you to a media briefing scheduled for Tuesday morning where Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani will officially unveil the new Zimbabwe national head coach,” reads ZC’s invitation.
Streak, a former national skipper and bowling coach, is the overwhelming favourite for the job and by far the most experienced and qualified candidate among the four aspirants interviewed for the job last week.
The others interviewed include ex-national team player Andy Blignaut and the South African duo of Peter Kirsten and Justin Summons.
Streak told Chronicle Sport at his Old Mutual Heath Streak Cricket Academy in Bulawayo last week that he was confident of landing the job and believes his experience would help return the national team to its competitive best.
He promised to use the experience he gained as Bangladesh bowling coach to extract the best out of Zimbabwe’s players by getting them involved in decision making so that they all feel part of the team.
Streak said Zimbabwe was teeming with talent, but it wasn’t being developed because little of the game was being played. Cricket talent, Streak said, could only be nurtured when one plays lots of competitive games.
He boasts of a 15-year playing career and more than seven years as a coach.
He is undoubtedly the finest pace bowler ever produced by Zimbabwe and holds the record of the most Test wickets (216) from 65 Tests. He also played 189 ODIs.
Streak made his debut for Zimbabwe against Pakistan in Karachi in 1993 and quickly established himself by taking eight wickets in his second Test in Rawalpindi. He then went on to shoulder the bowling and burdens of the captaincy until he quit international cricket in 2005.
Streak was Zimbabwe’s bowling coach under Alan Butcher between 2009 and 2013 and has had stints with Bangladesh and in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
He helped transform Bangladesh into a competitive side as a bowling coach, and is also the coach of Gujarat Lions in the IPL.
Bangladesh won a Test series and two ODI series against Zimbabwe, made it to the knockout stage of the 2015 World Cup and won the ODI series against Pakistan, India and South Africa under Streak.
Summons is based in Johannesburg and helped Prosper Utseya and Brian Vitori correct their illegal bowling actions after being cited and suspended.
Kirsten is currently involved at Redhill School in Johannesburg and also works as a commentator on SABC Radio. He was involved with Uganda, Kenya and Sierra Leone, and has also coached Western Province in South Africa in the past.
Blignaut has been coaching at the elite boys’ high school Peterhouse College in Marondera.