ZIMBABWE Cricket has fired national team coach Robin Brown after 12 months in charge and also relieved Andy Pycroft of his duties as Zimbabwe A coach.
But it is the dismissal of Brown that is likely to put Zimbabwe cricket in more negative light.
Board sources said the former Zimbabwe select captain has been sacked for favouritism and a stale relationship with players.
This paper has it on good authority that Brown’s dismissal is yet another culmination of ZC board politicking which has little to do with the game and the coach’s ability.
A stern personality, Brown is generally disliked by influencial figures inside Zimbabwe cricket who started clamouring for his head barely days into the job.
A ZC official who declined to be named said Brown’s contract will not be extended beyond end of this month, although the association would like to keep him in the ZC system.
He said: “We did not fire him. We just did not renew his contract. The issue is his bad working relationship with the players. He also treats players differently. We decided were not going anywhere with him.”
Brown’s appointment in August last year was widely seen as a wise move.
In his one-year tenure, his emphasis was attacking cricket and mental strength, an approach which saw Zimbabwe posting a sensational five-wicket victory over Australia in their opening match of the Twenty20 World tournament in South Africa.
Incidentally, ZC fired Brown’s predecessor, Kevin Curran, for among other factors, an uneasy relationship with players.
Player power also almost resulted in players refusing to play under Curran in solidarity with his predecessor, West Indian Phil Simmons. In contrast, Simmons was accused of being too close to the players.
Brown’s assistant, former national Under 19 coach Walter Chawaguta, has been spoken of as a future Zimbabwe coach.
But with just six domestic first-class matches under his belt, many believe Chawaguta does not have the credentials to coach at this highest level.
A player source said player grievances were not the reason for Brown’s dismissal.
“The players were used as smokescreen,” he said.
“It’s not fair on the players and on ZC itself because they keep being as projected as being weak and succumbing to player power.
“There were no major issues with Robin in the players’ camp. After all, it’s not the players’ prerogative to chose who they want as coach. If there were issues with Robin it wouldn’t be justified because we’ve had the same problems with the last three coaches and what has changed?
“The common denominator here has been the players. Player power is not desirable in a situation as ours where we have a very weak international team.”
By Enock Muchinjo