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Zimbabwe Cricket Appoints Former South African Fast Bowler Makhaya Ntini Bowling Coach


FILE: Zimbabwe players celebrate the dismissal of Pakistan's Ahmed Shahzad during a match at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, May 24, 2015. The Twenty20 matches Friday and Sunday mark a return of international cricket to Pakistan for the first time since gunmen attacked buses carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team and match officials in this eastern city six years ago. Security has been beefed up for the matches. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

FILE: Zimbabwe players celebrate the dismissal of Pakistan's Ahmed Shahzad during a match at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, May 24, 2015. The Twenty20 matches Friday and Sunday mark a return of international cricket to Pakistan for the first time since gunmen attacked buses carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team and match officials in this eastern city six years ago. Security has been beefed up for the matches. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

Zimbabwe Cricket has announced the appointment of former Proteas fast bowler Makhaya Ntini, as bowling coach starting February 16.

Ntini was the first black player to play for the South African national cricket affectionately known as the Proteas.

The 38-year-old signed a two-year contract with Zimbabwe Cricket to replace previous bowling coach, Douglas Hondo, who will now work with the Zimbabwe A team.

In another appointment to boost the country's international performance, former Sri Lanka coach Marvan Atapattu has been appointed batting consultant with immediate effect and will assist the Chevrons on their Bangladesh tour where they will play four T20 matches beginning Friday.

Independent sports analyst Muziwethu Hadebe told Voice Of America's Studio 7 that although the appointment may boost morale among players, it's important for the cricket body to concentrate on developing grassroots cricket.

"It's important for such appointments to be made at the grassroots levels as this is the base of the future national team. The players have to be groomed to be winners from the grassroots and not wait for them to get professional coaches at national level," said Hadebe.

The appointments come at a time when Zimbabwe's Chevrons were recently humiliated by an associate side Afghanistan. The team is set to play Bangladesh, which is ironically coached by a former Zimbabwean player and coach, Heath Streak, who now works in that country.

"We should guard jealously against losing professional coaches like Heath Streak and others. Zimbabwe is now being used as an international training ground for highly sought after staff, who should instead be helping the struggling Chevrons to improve their game," said Hadebe.

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