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Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Saturday, 20 February 2010

Alan Butcher to coach Zimbabwe national cricket team

Alan Butcher
Alan Butcher had three seasons in charge of the Surrey team

Zimbabwe have named former Surrey, Glamorgan and England batsman Alan Butcher as their new head coach.

Butcher has been given the task of getting Zimbabwe ready to return to Test cricket next year.

The 56-year-old, who won one Test cap, was previously head coach of county side Surrey.

He lost the job at the end of the 2008 English season following Surrey's relegation from Division One of the County Championship.

Former Zimbabwe Test players Heath Streak and Grant Flower will work alongside Butcher as specialist bowling and batting coaches, and he will be assisted by Stephen Mangongo.

"In the past we have relied on one coach, but this time we have four individuals and are confident they will deliver," said Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Ozias Bvute.

Zimbabwe withdrew from Test cricket in January 2006 after a series of poor results resulting from a policy of selecting mainly inexperienced black players.

The International Cricket Council ruled in 2007 that allowing them to make an early return could risk "undermining the integrity of Test cricket".

But last October, former captain Alastair Campbell, now chairman of selectors, confirmed that policy had been abandoned and predicted that they would be ready to play Test cricket again "in two or three years".

Butcher's appointment appears to be part of that process and he will bring many years of coaching experience to his new role.

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see also
Zimbabwe confident of Test return
10 Oct 09 |  Zimbabwe
Butcher leaves relegated Surrey
24 Sep 08 |  Surrey
Countries urged to play Zimbabwe
19 Jan 06 |  Zimbabwe

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