Makhaya Ntini, the stand-in Zimbabwe head-coach, is expected to revert to bowling coach after the appointment of Heath Streak as top man.
Ntini has been holding the post for the past four months, during which Zimbabwe lost a Test series 3-0 against New Zealand, as well as limited-overs series against India.
Lance Klusener, who was Ntini’s No 2, is also expected to continue in his role as Zimbabwe batting coach.
The Zimbabwe officials revealed that former Proteas batsman Peter Kirsten was interviewed for the position, along with Streak’s former Zimbabwe teammate Andy Blignaut and West Indian Justin Simmons before settling on Streak as the official replacement of Dav Whatmore, who was sacked in June.
Streak’s extensive experience in Zimbabwe included a four-year stint as bowling coach between 2009 and 2013, under Alan Butcher. Streak was instrumental in readying Zimbabwe for their Test comeback in 2011 and nurtured some of their best bowling talent including Brian Vitori, Kyle Jarvis, and Chris Mpofu.
When Streak’s contract with Zimbabwe was not renewed, he spent two years as bowling coach of Bangladesh, before moving to the IPL. He has remained committed to cricket in Zimbabwe, set up an academy in Bulawayo and also spent time doing television commentary in the country.
Streak has less than three weeks to get ready for his first assignment: a two-Test series against Sri Lanka followed by an ODI tri-series which includes West Indies. Zimbabwe’s cricketers have been in training under Ntini’s watch throughout September in preparation for the series and have also played against Pakistan A.
Their practice was briefly interrupted when the players embarked on a strike in protest over non-payment of match fees.