HARARE: Heath Streak has been asked to step down as Zimbabwe coach or face dismissal after the team failed to qualify for the 2019 ICC World Cup.

Zimbabwe, which hosted the qualification competition that ended last week, failed to secure two of the slots — taken by West Indies and Afghanistan.

It will be the first time Zimbabwe will not be playing in the World Cup since 1983, a development that has raised alarm in the African country, with fear rife that the game will go downhill.

Streak learned of his fate through a letter from Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Faisal Haisnan, who said the former national captain must resign together with his entire staff, including batting coach Lance Klusener, the former South Africa all-rounder.

They were told to hand in their resignation by Friday afternoon.

“After which time the technical team can consider themselves dismissed and relieved of their duties with immediate effect,” Haisnan, a former ICC finance chief, wrote.

Streak, who was appointed in October 2016 to qualify Zimbabwe, has refused to resign, daring the board to sack him.

Captain Graeme Cremer and head of selectors Tatenda Taibu are believed to be next in the firing line.

Experienced batsman and wicket-keeper Brendan Taylor, who returned to international cricket late last year following a stint in English County cricket, is being persuaded to take over the captaincy for a second spell.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2018

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