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Makhaya Ntini, Marvan Atapattu roped in as Zimbabwe coaches

Zimbabwe announced the appointment of two coaches yesterday. Ntini and Atapattu to take charge of the team from January 16

Marvan Atapattu

Zimbabwe Cricket has appointed former South Africa pacer Makhaya Ntini to be their assistant coach, while Marvan Atapattu of Sri Lanka has been taken on board as batting consultant.

“Former South African bowler Makhaya Ntini has been appointed on a two-year contract as assistant national team coach in charge of bowling, with effect from the 16th of next month,” a statement released yesterday by Zimbabwe Cricket reads.

The former Proteas pacer rose from the then United Cricket Board’s development program to be the first coloured African cricketer. He became the first South African to claim 10 wickets in a Test match at Lord’s in 2003.

Ntini is noted as one of the greatest players to have played for South Africa. Sitting at the third position with Allan Doland in the list of highest wicket takers in test matches for South Africa, the right arm bowler has 390 wickets to his name. He also has 265 ODI wickets. Ntini played 101 Tests, 173 ODIs and 10 T20Is for South Africa in his international career lasting of 13 years. 

The 38-year-old will replace Douglas Hondo as the head bowling coach, who will now work with Zimbabwe A. Ntini has been offered a two-year contract by the Zimbabwe board.

Batting consultant for now, may succeed Andy Waller as batting coach in near future

Former Sri Lanka skipper, Marvan Atapattu has also been roped in by Zimbabwe as their batting consultant. Having resigned last September as the head coach of his own country, the Sri Lankan has been added to the Zimbabwe coaching staff for a four match T20 series starting this Friday against Bangladesh.

“Atapattu, a former Sri Lanka captain and coach, may succeed Andy Waller as Zimbabwe's batting coach. Currently, he is only a consultant but his ‘contract’ will be reviewed after the Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, with a view to entering into a longer relationship," the Zimbabwe Cricket report said.

Atapattu has coached Canada and Singapore before assuming his office as the Sri Lankan coach in 2011. The 45-year-old has played 90 Test, 268 ODI and two Twenty20 International matches for Sri Lanka. He has 16 Test centuries with a career best of 249 against Zimbabwe in 2004 to his name. The right-handed batsman also has 11 ODI centuries.

Zimbabwe, with two new coaches on board, is all set for their Bangladesh tour starting this Friday. Their last series against Afghanistan was a disappointment where they lost both the T20s in Sharjah. Zimbabwe was beaten 3-2 by Afghanistan in the following ODI series.  

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