Klusener returns as Zimbabwe batting coach

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Lance Klusener

Former South Africa cricket team allrounder Lance Klusener has completed a return to the Zimbabwe Cricket technical team set-up for a second stint as batting coach.

Klusener has previously worked as Zimbabwe’s batting coach under the then head coach Heath Streak between 2016 and 2018.

Zimbabwe Cricket confirmed Klusener’s return after its board meeting in Harare on Monday.

“Former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener has rejoined the Zimbabwe senior men’s national team as batting coach,” Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) said in a statement.

“He is taking over from Stuart Matsikenyeri, who now moves to the position of assistant coach, while Lalchand Rajput remains in charge as head coach of the national side.”

“Klusener previously served as Zimbabwe’s batting coach between 2016 and 2018. Until recently, he was head coach of the Afghanistan national team. In the meantime, ZC is in the process of finalising the appointment of a bowling coach and a fitness trainer for the men’s national team,” added ZC.

Klusener left his position as Afghanistan’s head coach last December after deciding against renewing his initial two-year contract with the Asian team.

Under the 50-year-old South African’s mentorship, Afghanistan made some notable strides.

The Asian side won one Test, against Zimbabwe in Abu Dhabi in March 2021, to draw the two-match series 1-1.

The ex-Proteas star also led the Afghans to three ODI and nine T20I wins, including series wins over Ireland and West Indies.

During his first stint as Zimbabwe batting coach Klusener was credited for Zimbabwe’s improved performances, but failure to qualify for the 2019 World Cup seemed to reverse all the progress made.

Klusener was sacked later in 2018 alongside Streak and chief selector Tatenda Taibu following Zimbabwe’s dramatic defeat to minnows UAE during a qualification tournament hosted by the African country, a result that prevented the side from playing in the World Cup for the first time since 1983.

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has however maintained huge respect for Klusener which has led to his return for a second stint.

 

 

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