HARARE – It has emerged that the sacking of Dave Houghton as Zimbabwe’s cricket coach came after a recent contract renewal that gave him full control of the team, SportsCast has established.

66-year-old Houghton, a legendary former national team captain, has been fired on Friday amidst the country’s wreckage of failure to qualify for next year’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and United States.

Uganda, a lower tier nation of world cricket, qualified ahead of the Zimbabwe, a top cricketing nation on the continent and a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Houghton, one of Zimbabwe’s greatest players of all time, was appointed his country’s head coach for a second tenure in June 2022. Everything was going smoothly until things started to go haywire, with his team also failing to qualify for the recently ended main World Cup in India.

The failure to qualify for the World Cup in India, sources said, placed Houghton under the spotlight from the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board, although it was largely underplayed.

Before the T20 World Cup qualifiers in Namibia, Zimbabwe took on the Namibians in an away series, losing 2-1. Houghton was made to account for that result, it has emerged.

Houghton, it is said, responded that the outcome of that series didn’t really matter because the trip was more important for the purpose of “acclimatising purposes” in Namibia before the crucial qualifiers.

The board then also gave in to more demands by Houghton, who was rewarded with a new contract that gave the coach an extra role on the selection panel.

Sources say after this, Houghton disagreed with other selectors over some players included in the squad qualifiers. The board, it is said, intervened and allowed Houghton to have his way.

The ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani and Managing Director Givemore Makoni then decided on Friday to let Houghton go after reaching an agreement that they had given the coach ample support to succeed.


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