Dave Houghton Biography: Early Life | Cricket Career | International Career | Zimbabwe Coaching Career
Dave Houghton is a Zimbabwean cricket coach and former cricketer who is currently the head coach of the Zimbabwe men’s national cricket team. He is also the first test captain of Zimbabwe and one of their best batsmen in history.
Early Life And Career
Houghton was born on 23 June 1957 in Bulawayo, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. He attended Milton High School and joined the police force after leaving school to earn income. However, he left the police force due to political changes and pursued his interest in cricket.
Houghton also represented his country in hockey as a goalkeeper and was praised by Pakistan hockey captain Kaleemullah Khan as the best he had ever played against.
He made his first-class debut in November 1978 for Rhodesia and scored two centuries before turning 30. He did not get the chance to play test cricket until the age of 35, as Zimbabwe was still an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Dave Houghton International Career
Houghton made his One Day International (ODI) debut on 9 June 1983 against Australia at the 1983 Cricket World Cup, Zimbabwe’s first ODI. In that match, he scored a golden duck, but Zimbabwe pulled off a stunning upset by winning by 13 runs.
He played in three World Cups for Zimbabwe in 1983, 1987 and 1992. His most memorable ODI innings was against New Zealand in the 1987 World Cup, when he scored 142 off 137 balls with 13 fours and six sixes, which was then the highest individual score in World Cup history.
He also captained Zimbabwe in their first four Test matches and led the team in 17 ODIs. He scored 1,464 runs at an average of 43.05 in 22 Tests, including four centuries and four fifties. His highest Test score was 266 against Sri Lanka at Bulawayo in 1994-95, which is still the highest Test score by a Zimbabwean.
He retired from international cricket in 1997 at the age of 40.
Dave Houghton Coaching Career
Houghton became the coach of Zimbabwe in the late 1990s and helped them qualify for the Super Six stage of the 1999 World Cup. He then moved to England and coached various county teams such as Derbyshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Middlesex.
He returned to Zimbabwe as the head coach in June 2022, replacing Lalchand Rajput, who became the technical director. Houghton led Zimbabwe in the T20 World Cup Qualifier in July 2022.
Houghton is regarded as one of the finest batsmen and coaches to have emerged from Zimbabwe.