‘Alistair Campbell is a former captain and he is entitled to his own opinion’, says Stephen Mangongo

"We must also remind him that in the past we had former cricketers in the staff and we haven't won that many games"

“We must also remind him that in the past we had former cricketers in the staff and we haven’t won that many games”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Zimbabwe head coach Stephen Mangongo has lashed out at former captain Alistair Campbell for his comments about the lack of ex-players in the national team’s current set-up.

Mangongo noted that Zimbabwe have had numerous former players in their set-up in the past, but were still “losing to teams like Hong Kong and all those guys”.

“Well, Alistair Campbell is a former captain and he is entitled to his own opinion,” Mangongo said. “Zimbabwe is a democratic country so he had his opinion. However we must also remind him that in the past we had former cricketers in the staff and we haven’t won that many games, so I hope he hasn’t forgotten that when he made that statement. We had Grant Flower as part of the coaching staff, we had Heath Streak as part of the staff, and we were losing to teams like Hong Kong and all those guys.

“So I don’t understand where it is coming from and also this year, if you look to some world-class teams like Australia – [John] Buchanan he never played lot of cricket but he is one of the world’s best coaches who took Australia places. He is entitled to his own opinion and I am sure the Zimbabwe Cricket Union will always endeavour as much personnel to help the boys. But we also need to be realistic because we’ve got financial problems and Zimbabwe cricket works within the finances. That is a fact.”

Moving away from the subject, Mangongo stated that he was extremely disappointed that his side were whitewashed 5-0 in the recently concluded ODI series against Bangladesh.

“I think it was disappointing to lose the series 5-0, because we had opportunities to win a couple of games,” he said. “At least we should have won the last game which we lost by 21 runs, that’s disappointing because we had a chance for a victory but we couldn’t. We also must give credit to Bangladesh.

“They [Bangladesh] were resolute, they had the killer instinct, when they had us down they finished us. They executed their skills better and yes, the better team won the series and it is not all gloom and doom.”

However, Mangongo admitted that he was impressed with the bowling attack, and with all-rounder Solomon Mire for scoring two half-centuries and taking three wickets in his maiden series.

“Our bowling department, I am very proud of them. They bowled very well, bowled very tight in all the five games,” he said. “There is hope with a few individuals, young Solomon Mire’s start of international career was truly outstanding. So we can build from there.”

Zimbabwe now have no ODIs scheduled until the start of the 2015 World Cup. As a result of this, Mangongo is hoping that Zimbabwe Cricket can find teams to tour the country in early January.

“I know for a fact that Zimbabwe Cricket is working very hard to try to get us some international game time in January before the World Cup,” he said. “So I hope that materialises because it is important that we continue to play and continue to learn and execute our skills under pressure.”

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