Newly-appointed Zimbabwean coach Makhaya Ntini says Cricket South Africa are reluctant to play against Zimbabwe.
Makhaya Ntini has spoken out on what he feels is a deliberate shunning of his team, and feels that CSA is not helping with their neighbours’ development. In an interview with the Sunday Times he said his side has received cold treatment from CSA – something he noticed as soon as he joined the Zimbabwean team in January.
‘The first thing I asked when I got here was, “What is CSA doing to help?” And I picked up that South Africa [are] not keen on visiting here and they don’t want much to do with Zimbabwe,’ Ntini said.
‘It was sad to hear that, along with the fact that that I was told they nearly didn’t want to come to Zimbabwe for the tri-series they played with Zimbabwe and Australia two years ago. I’d like to find out why they nearly pulled out of that series and also ask why they don’t want to support Zimbabwe, [especially since] they are the only other good cricketing nation on the continent.’
The former pacer is currently on his first assignment as the team’s head coach as they host India. He said he is excited about the opportunity he has been given by Zimbabwean cricket and praises them for the faith they shown in him.
‘I haven’t coached at provincial level and within four months of being appointed bowling coach, I’m the head coach. That tells you about the faith in me here and the ability here to identify leadership potential.
‘It works differently in South Africa, where you roast in the system and find that other coaches leapfrog you,’ he said. ‘There are talented coaches in South Africa who need to get their international dues.’
Ntini, who has 390 Test wickets for South Africa from 101 matches is joined in the coaching staff by his former Proteas teammate Lance Klusener who is the team’s batting coach, and is excited by the prospect of working with his countryman.
‘You also have to understand where we come from and we have to make people proud with what we do. It forces us to do what we think is right and coach from intuition rather than a set of instructions.’
Zimbabwe are trailing 0-1 in their three-match One-Day International series against India.