ZIMBABWE Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani might have raised a few eyebrows following his comments that the local cricket governing body appointed Prosper Utseya as national Under-19 bowling coach without considering his coaching qualifications.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The local cricket governing body has also suspiciously opted to remain mum on the Utseya issue where the former national team captain is accused of forging a Cricket South Africa (CSA) Level 2 coaching certificate, which he tried to use in applying for a Level 3 course in Australia.
CSA’s coach education manager, Anton Ferreira revealed that Utseya never attended the Level 2 coaching course, which was conducted at the Maritzburg Oval in Kwazulu Natal (KZN), South Africa in 2009.
“I double-checked with KZN Inland and on our central data base — there is no record of him although I have been told he was in Maritzburg around that time playing club cricket for the university.”
“It looks like an authentic certificate,” Ferreira said, having identified his own signature at the bottom alongside that of the supervising coach Paul Attkins who conducted the course. “I have no idea how it was done — a fancy scanner, perhaps, and some forgery?”
Responding to questions from Standardsport in the wake of revelations by Ferreira, Mukuhlani said: “I’m not aware of Utseya’s qualifications, in any case when we appointed him it was not based on the strength of his coaching certificates, but because of his record as an ex-player, who we would then later develop into a coach.”
Utseya was appointed to take over as bowling coach ahead of qualified fellow former players including Andy Blignaut, who had already been recommended for the role of bowling coach.
Blignaut, who is the director of coaching at the Peterhouse School Cricket Centre of Excellence in Marondera, had already assumed coaching responsibilities for the age group team together with fellow former players ex-wicketkeeper batsman Alester Maregwede (batting coach) and former all-rounder Gavin Ewing, who was supposed to take over as head coach.
The decision to hire the trio was immediately reversed when the new board lead by Mukuhlani assumed office with Utseya being fast-tracked into a new coaching setup which included Stephen Mangongo as head coach and Greg Lamb as batting coach.
Mukuhlani’s comments also drew the ire of local cricket followers, who questioned his move to defend Utseya without trying to establish from Cricket South Africa whether the allegations were true or false.
“I know he was employed based on his playing experience, but ZC [Zimbabwe Cricket] should consult it’s South African counterparts and investigate to see if this is true or not. If found guilty, then ZC should take appropriate action to reprimand him for it. It sets a bad example for our youth and it also brings ZC’s brand into disrepute for employing someone like that,” said one reader.