Kirby, 44, had a long county career in England as a fast bowler with an experience of 348 games across formats: 167 first-class, 104 List A and 77 T20 matches. He then took on coaching there and last served as the bowling coach at Somerset, one of the sides he played for.
“I’ve got aspirations to be the very best coach that I can be, and international cricket is something that I really want to be involved with,” Kirby was quoted as saying in a Zimbabwe Cricket statement. “I’ve worked really well with Dave Houghton previously when we were at Derbyshire and when this position presented itself, I felt that I couldn’t turn it down.
“The scale of the role is hugely exciting because I won’t just be working with the national XI, but I’ll also be involved with the whole pathway 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 penalised for ball tampering – he was given a suspended ban for deliberately rolling the ball across the car park during a game against Glamorgan after he had gone to retrieve it.
“We are delighted to confirm Steve as our Bowling Coach for the senior men’s team,” ZC director of cricket Hamilton Masakadza said. “He has done incredibly well as a player and coach in county cricket over the years and, as we seek to continue strengthening all facets of our game and improving our performances at the highest level, we count ourselves privileged and fortunate to have him as part of our technical set-up.”
Overall, he took 572 first-class wickets at 28.74, 142 in List A at 27.90, and another 83 in T20s with an economy rate of 7.56.
Zimbabwe will play in the opening round of the T20 World Cup along with Ireland, West Indies and Scotland in Group B. Their tournament will begin on October 17 against Ireland in Hobart after playing warm-up games against Sri Lanka and Namibia in Melbourne.