Harare: Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka has unexpectedly stepped down from his position after 22 years at the helm, as the organisation also announced changes at both coach and captaincy level after their board meeting in Harare.
Chingoka had previously indicated that he would stand for re-election when his term ended in 2015, but a ZC statement said that the 60-year-old had retired as both chairman and board member "on his own accord" during Thursday's meeting.
The news came as Zimbabwe were beaten by 100 runs by Afghanistan in Bulawayo on Thursday to draw a four one-day international series.
Zimbabwe won the first two matches by six wickets and eight wickets before losing the third by two wickets.
"In his parting remarks he indicated that his decision was based on the need to have a well defined succession plan in which it had been agreed that a year before his term he would step down and assist the incoming Chairman," read the ZC statement.
"He will therefore impart his knowledge based on experience both locally and on the international scene and at times undertake missions assigned by the Board upon request.
"Chingoka could therefore continue to represent Zimbabwe at the International Cricket Council, where he was recently elected to the Governance Review Committee.
The ZC board appointed Chingoka's deputy Wilson Manase as chairman, with Maureen Kuchocha coming in as vice-chairman.
The board also created the position of National Director of Coaching and immediately assigned national coach Andrew Waller to the role, thus handing assistant coach Stephen Mangongo control of the national team for next month's assignments against South Africa and Australia.
Zimbabwe take on the Proteas in a one-off Test and three one-day internationals, before Australia arrive for a tri-series.
Allrounder Elton Chigumbura will lead Zimbabwe in the ODIs after the board opted to split the captaincy.
Brendan Taylor will remain in charge of the Test side, while Chigumbura has been handed the reins of the one-day and Twenty20 teams.
The Cricket World Cup takes place in Australia and New Zealand next February and March.