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Zimbabwe rope in Steve Kirby as bowling coach for T20 World Cup

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Zimbabwe has brought in Steve Kirby as their new bowling coach. He is expected to join the squad next month for the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Kirby, 44, had a long county career in England as a fast bowler with experience spanning 348 matches in various formats: 167 first-class, 104 List A and 77 T20 matches. He then went on to coach there and last served as bowling coach at Somerset, one of the sides he played for.

Kirby also worked with current Zimbabwe head coach Dave Houghton in Derbyshire.

“I have aspirations to become the very best coach I can be, and international cricket is something I really want to be involved in,” Kirby said in a statement from Zimbabwe Cricket. “I’ve worked really well with Dave Houghton before when we were in Derbyshire and when this position came up I felt I couldn’t refuse it.

“The scale of the role is extremely exciting because not only will I be working with the National XI, but I will be involved in the entire trajectory structure across the country.”

Kirby won the County Championship with Yorkshire and also represented Gloucestershire, Leicestershire and MCC. During his stint with Gloucestershire, Kirby was also penalized for tampering with the ball – he was given a suspension for intentionally rolling the ball across the parking lot during a game against Glamorgan after going to retrieve it.

“We are delighted to confirm Steve as our Bowling Coach for the senior men’s team,” said ZC cricket director Hamilton Masakadza. “He has done incredibly well as a player and coach in county cricket over the years and as we strive to strengthen all facets of our game and improve our performance at the highest level, we consider ourselves privileged and lucky to have him as part of our technical setup.”

Overall, he took 572 first-class wickets at 28.74, 142 in List A at 27.90 and another 83 in T20s at an economy rate of 7.56.

Zimbabwe will play in the opening round of the T20 World Cup alongside Ireland, the West Indies and Scotland in Group B. Their tournament kicks off against Ireland in Hobart on October 17 after playing warm-up matches against Sri Lanka and Namibia in Melbourne.