CRISIS IN ZIMBABWE
Cricbuzz Staff •
Streak has called the allegations ‘ludicrous’ © Getty
Heath Streak, who was sacked from his job as Zimbabwe head coach, after failing to guide the team to the 2019 World Cup, has hit out at accusations of racism levelled against him. The former Zimbabwe bowling all-rounder spoke out for the first time after being asked to quit or face the sack as a consequence of the team’s disappointing 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Streak, batting coach Lance Klusener, bowling coach Douglas Hondo, fielding coach Walter Chawaguta, fitness coach Sean Bell and team analyst Stanley Chioza were amongst those who were sacked after having refused to resign by themselves. Convenor of selectors, Tatenda Taibu, was also sacked.
Implying racism in selection, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) Chairman, Tavengwa Mukuhlani, had promised a review of Zimbabwe’s performance during their ill-fated campaign and especially their loss to United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a must-win encounter. The chairman had accused Streak of acting indifferently when it came to informing white players about selection and hiding certain selection aspects from the black players.
“Streak was the coach and selector, he was entitled to change the team as he found fit but the question is: why did he change the team in the manner that he did?” Mukuhlani said to Zimbabwe newspaper, Daily News. “The white players knew PJ Moor was going to play [against UAE] but none of the black players knew about it. Cephas Zhuwao was only informed [that he wouldn’t play] in the warm-up. Why didn’t Streak inform the entire team?”
Speaking about the racism charges, Streak, who’s currently in India with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as part of the coaching staff, strongly denied the charges and asserted that his players were always part of his plans. Accusing the chairman of ‘clutching at straws’, the former coach affirmed that players like Hamilton Masakadza, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani and Chris Mpofu could be asked about his ‘so called racist policy’.
Streak spoke out on Sunday (April 8) through social media and sought to clarify the matter further. Speaking in Zimbabwe’s native language, Ndebele, Streak said: “I’ve been accused by the chairman of ZC of being a racist, I find this preposterous and laughable and even to respond to them for people who know me, is lowering my standards.
“The allegations that during the WCQ, I dropped black players for white players is also ludicrous. When I dropped people like Kyle Jarvis for Tendai Chisoro nothing was said, but when I dropped Cephas Zhwao for PJ Moor, then I’m a racist,” Streak said.
“Those who are around me and who know me and are most important to me as in the players can vouch for that. Why do all these people that the chairman claims are accusing me of racism, why do they not come out in public and say that themselves?” asked Streak.