The Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) Board has announced the appointment of Andrew Christopher Waller as the new coach of the Zimbabwe national team.
He will take over from acting national coach Stephen Mangongo, after the Bangladesh tour of Zimbabwe.
The Board also announced that Mangongo, who was appointed coach to take charge of the home team for the Teletalk 3G series against Bangladesh following the expiry of Alan Butcher’s contract on the 31st of last month, will become Waller’s deputy when the former Zimbabwe international takes over.
Mangongo, who started off as a schools coach under the ZC development programme, was also assistant to Butcher and so remains part of the ZC capacity building programme.
Waller will accompany Mangongo to Bulawayo for the Limited Overs International matches of the tour, as part of his settling in.
“Waller takes over the reigns at a time when the demands on our performance are very high but we are confident that the strategy he presented to us and his unique style of coaching will yield positive results,” said ZC Board Chairman, Peter Chingoka.
Waller’s cricketing career saw him become a regular in the Zimbabwe one-day side from the mid-1980s, appearing in the 1987, 1992 and 1996 World Cup squads. The top order batsman made his Test debut against England in 1996/97 and impressed with an innings of 50 runs. He retained his place for the second Test, which turned out to be his last in that version of the game.
Waller played another seven One-Day International matches before retiring due to injury.
Affectionately known in cricketing circles as “Bundu,” Waller was described by his contemporaries as an entertaining batsman, an outstanding fielder, and a more than useful occasional medium-pace bowler.
He coached the Namibia national cricket team before returning to Zimbabwe in April 2009 to take up the position of coaches manager, where he was responsible for supervising domestic coaching structures and setting up high-performance centres across the country.
When ZC introduced the franchise system in September 2009, Waller was named head coach of the Kwekwe-based Midwest Rhinos.
He handed over the reigns to Jason Gillespie in the 2010/2011 season so that he could take on the role of assistant coach and team manager for the Zimbabwe XI side that played against Afghanistan, the Netherlands and Canada in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Intercontinental Cup.
During his two-year tenure, Waller will lead Zimbabwe to the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh next April, and the ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand early 2015.
“I have high expectations going in but I do not want to take anything for granted. The bottom line is that we have a busy calendar of incoming tours and our performance needs to start reflecting the preparation that goes into these games. My long-term focus is to build a team of the future and I am looking forward to working with the boys,” said Waller.
Aged 53, Waller is the father of Zimbabwe middle order batsman Malcolm, and the uncle of Zimbabwe A player Nathan.
The ZC Board has also appointed Walter Chawaguta as the national under-19 coach, taking over from former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris, whose contract expired.
Chawaguta’s immediate assignment is to prepare the Zimbabwe side for the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, which will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates in February and March next year.
He will also supervise the coaches in charge of the various national age-group sides.
Chawaguta, who is 40, is a product of the ZC development programme.
After playing cricket for Mashonaland as a middle-order batsman, he coached Churchill School and then the Zimbabwe under-19 and A teams. He has also been a national selector and national coach. In between, he played Logan Cup matches for Centrals.