FORMER Zimbabwe national cricket team coach Alan Butcher is on the verge of launching his book, which will among other things reveal the level of interference in the game during his tenure as coach.
By Own Correspondent
The interference ranged from team selection to who was supposed to play where.
The book, The Good Murungu: A Cricket Tale of the unexpected will be launched on April 1, chronicling Butcher’s stay in Zimbabwe as well as dealing with a number of issues involving the local game.
“My book deals with lots of these issues, player management issues, finance issues, selection issues but also about how much I enjoyed the job and living in the country. I had some frustrations but I don’t regret a thing. I loved the place,” he said.
“The book explains what it is like to coach and play for the Zimbabwe national team…the frustrations, problems and pleasures. Plus an insight into the country in general,” said Butcher.
Butcher speaks of the interference by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) leadership in the selection of the team, which he said made his job difficult as it affected his plans as head of the national team.
“It was hard to pick a balanced team at times and also made managing player relationships harder than it needed to be. It affected a lot of things. I could not do all the things I wanted with the squad because there was interference from the top.
“There was no official selection quota system in place but I knew it was there. I cannot speak about the last three years because I don’t know what has been happening, but in all fairness, it was always a struggle to get results when I was coach,” said Butcher.
Butcher said internal politics within ZC made it impossible for results to come by as it affected the whole set up. He said if the power struggles within the cricket board were dealt with, the country had a lot of potential to be among the world’s best.
“If there is politics in the management of any organisation, it creates an unstable environment for players. Everyone is affected by it and this translates into bad results on the field,” he said.
“A stable board and management and better development structures result in better domestic cricket which, coupled with hard work and determination, will make Zimbabwe a force to reckon with,” Butcher added.
He said it was difficult for government to direct its finances towards cricket because it had other priorities given the bad economic situation the country was in.
“I guess the country has too big an economic problem to make funding cricket a priority.”
Commenting on the recent performance of the national team at the pre-qualifiers for the World Cup in which Zimbabwe were booted out by Afghanistan, Butcher said it all came back to lack of proper structures for local cricket.
“It probably suggests that Zimbabwe domestic cricket is not strong enough to equip players for the transition to international cricket.”
He said he wouldn’t mind one day bouncing back as the national team coach as he felt he still had a lot to offer to the nation and feels that he had a good record in his three-year tenure.
“I had a lot of fun and I loved working with the team; it was all such a great experience. I think I did a good job, all things considered,” said Butcher.