Houghton takes over as Zimbabwe Head Coach in reshuffle

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has appointed Dave Houghton as Head Coach of the Zimbabwe Senior Men’s National Team in a reshuffle that sees Lalchand Rajput assuming a new role as Technical Director.


The changes were confirmed during a ZC Board meeting held on Tuesday.


The 64-year-old Houghton, a former Zimbabwe captain and coach, is expected to be in place ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2022 that will be staged in the country next month.


As part of the coaching changes, Lance Klusener has already re-joined the technical team as Batting Coach – the former South Africa all-rounder previously served in the same capacity between 2016 and 2018 and was until recently employed as Afghanistan’s head coach.


ZC is also finalising the appointment of a new bowling coach to complete the reshuffle.


Commenting on the development, ZC Director of Cricket Hamilton Masakadza said he was confident the changes will boost the technical team and help turn around Zimbabwe’s on-field fortunes.


“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,” he 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.”


Masakadza added: “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.”


Before his latest appointment, Houghton was doubling up as ZC’s Coaching Manager and Head Coach at provincial side Mountaineers.


Prior to that, he was the head of cricket at Derbyshire County Cricket Club in England.


Zimbabwe’s first Test Captain, Houghton is one of the best batters to emerge from this country.


He announced his arrival on the big stage with a score of 121 in Zimbabwe’s inaugural Test, against India in Harare in 1992/93.


Houghton went on to hit 266 – Zimbabwe’s highest Test score to date – against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo in 1994/95.


His most memorable one-day international innings was against New Zealand at the 1987 World Cup, when he scored 142 runs off 137 deliveries with 13 fours and six sixes.


After taking charge of Zimbabwe as a player-coach, Houghton went on to become a successful coach in England.