Alan Butcher To Coach Zimbabwe Cricket Team

Butcher has been given the task of getting Zimbabwe ready to return to Test cricket next year.

The 56-year-old, who won one Test cap, was previously head coach of county side Surrey.

He lost the job at the end of the 2008 English season following Surrey’s relegation from Division One of the County Championship.

Former Zimbabwe Test players Heath Streak and Grant Flower will work alongside Butcher as specialist bowling and batting coaches, and he will be assisted by Stephen Mangongo.

Zimbabwe withdrew from Test cricket in January 2006 after a series of poor results resulting from a policy of selecting mainly inexperienced black players.

The International Cricket Council ruled in 2007 that allowing them to make an early return could risk “undermining the integrity of Test cricket”.

But last October, former captain Alastair Campbell, now chairman of selectors for Zimbabwe Cricket, confirmed that policy had been abandoned and predicted that they would be ready to play Test cricket again “in two or three years”.

Butcher’s appointment appears to be part of that process and he will bring many years of coaching experience to his new role. BBC