Houghton named Zimbabwe’s new head coach

Rajput takes up new technical director role

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Dave Houghton

Zimbabwe Cricket legend Dave Houghton has been named as Zimbabwe’s head coach, with the incumbent coach Lalchand Rajput taking over a new role as technical director in a major reshuffle of the national team setup following a string of poor results.

Houghton’s appointment was confirmed during a ZC Board meeting held on Tuesday. The announcement was made soon after Zimbabwe lost the third Twenty20 international against Afghanistan by 35 runs to succumb to an embarrassing tour whitewash defeat.

Zimbabwe were thrashed 3-0 in the three-match ICC ODI Super League before the T-20 series where there has been no respite for the Rajput-coached side.

Houghton, a legendary former Zimbabwe captain is expected to take charge ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2022 that will be held in the country in July.

Earlier in the year, Zimbabwe Cricket also appointed Lance Klusener as the batting coach, and are currently on the lookout for a new bowling coach.

“We are delighted to be bringing in Dave and we count ourselves fortunate and privileged to be able to appoint such a vastly experienced and highly respected Head Coach at a time we are looking to improve our on-field performances,” ZC Director of Cricket Hamilton Masakadza said.

“With Lance having also bounced back as batting coach, we believe we now have a formidable technical team that can push for World Cup qualification and ensure our players put in consistently competitive performances. I would also like to thank Lalchand who has been in charge of the team for the past four years, an incredibly challenging period for our cricket. He will continue to be involved in our game as Technical Director and will provide invaluable support to the team,” he added.

Houghton has previously worked as Zimbabwe’s coach, taking the side to Super-Six in the 1999 World Cup.

The 64-year-old also served as the director of national coaching of Zimbabwe in 2009. He has also served in various coaching capacities with Derbyshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Middlesex.

Houghton played 22 Tests for his country, averaging 41.83 with the bat. His highest individual score of 266 came versus Sri Lanka in 1994-95. He also played 63 ODIs for Zimbabwe.

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