Bangladesh Cricket Board appoints Neil Mackenzie as new batting consultant

Mumbai Sports And Fitness
Mackenzie and Smith at the end of the 415-run opening stand

What's the story

Former South Africa batsman Neil Mackenzie has been named Bangladesh's latest batting consultant. The one-day series against the Windies starting July 24 will be his first upcoming task with the team.

In case you didn't know...

Neil McKenzie started off as an opener for South Africa but soon converted into a middle-order reliable. After some good performances since his debuting year of 2000 to late 2003s, he found his way out of the Proteas team after lack of form started plaguing him. He came back to the team in early 2008 as a replacement to Herschelle Gibbs and forged a potent opening combination with Graeme Smith. The duo is most famous for putting up an opening stand of 415 runs against Bangladesh in 2008 during which he scored his best figures of 226 as well. He continued playing until early 2010 but lack of consistency and the age issue started weighing down on the player as he eventually called it quits from international cricket.

Mackenzie has played 58 Tests and scored 3253 runs at an average of 37.39 including five hundreds. In ODIs, he has 1688 runs from 64 matches at 37.51 average, with the highest score of 131, one of the two hundreds he scored in format.

The details

The "batting coach" position in the squad of Bangladesh had been remaining vacant for almost a year prior to Mackenzie's latest appointment as consultant. Steve Rhodes and Ryan Cook have assumed charges of head coach and fielding coach respectively, and they have been involved in duty since the past one month.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had recently appointed Gary Kirsten as their consultant on appointing gaffers. Gary Kirsten is a former South African batsman, and also the coach who played a very instrumental role in India winning the 50-over World Cup in 2011. Mackenzie's name has been there in BCB's plans for quite some time now. The presence of Kirsten might have played a role in bringing Mackenzie into the new position as the duo has worked together back at their home country. This is BCB's third fresh appointment after Kirsten taking charge as a consultant.

Previously, Thilan Samaraweera was Bangladesh's batting coach and, after his departure, the BCB's High-Performance head coach Simon Helmot had taken charge on that front on a temporary basis until the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka earlier this year.

What's next

McKenzie will assume charges as immediately as of July 24, as Bangladesh play the Windies in 3 ODIs as part for their tour. This will be followed by 3 T20Is as well. The Test series has already concluded, and the hosts won the three-match series 2-0.

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Edited by Amar Anand
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