DAVE HOUGHTON will lend his local knowledge and batting expertise to the Ireland squad on their upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, renewing an association with Irish cricket that dates back more than two decades.
The 58 year-old, who played 22 Tests for Zimbabwe averaging a healthy 43.05, including scoring three hundreds and one double hundred, will join John Bracewell's coaching team to prepare the national squad for three ODIs and a four-day match in Harare.
Houghton's extensive coaching career spanning over 20 years included a short-term stint in charge of the Ireland team at the 1994 ICC Trophy in Kenya.
It has also seen him take charge of the national Zimbabwe team, before going on to coach Worcestershire and Derbyshire. He was also assistant coach at Somerset and is the current batting coach at Middlesex.
"What a great opportunity it is to have the likes of Dave Houghton with us for the Zimbabwe leg of the tour," said Ireland Head Coach John Bracewell. "His experience as a coach and knowledge of Zimbabwe is a real bonus to the group.
"I have played and coached against Dave for over 30 years and have always admired his manner and temperament in and around cricket. He has always been generous with his time and knowledge and I believe he will be invaluable to all skill-sets on tour.
"His coaching brief in Zimbabwe will be 'game sense' - passing on his insight into what the modern batsman is thinking. This will benefit not only the batters, but also the bowlers - advising on how the opposition batsmen are trying to manipulate them, and how best to counteract this."
Houghton was delighted to be assisting Ireland in his homeland, saying: "I am very pleased to have been asked by John Bracewell, and Cricket Ireland, to assist as a batting consultant for their tour of Zimbabwe.
"This is a very exciting time to be involved with Irish cricket, as they sit on the cusp of achieving their ambition of entering the Test arena. I hope that my knowledge and energy will be of great benefit to them."
Ireland will play three ODI's against Zimbabwe on October 9, 11 and 13 before playing a four-day fixture against Zimbabwe A starting on Saturday the 17th.