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Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:24 PM Comments comments (0)

Full name Vusimuzi Sibanda


Born October 10, 1983, Highfields, Harare


Major teams Zimbabwe, Africa XI, Mid West Rhinos, Zimbabwe A, Zimbabwe Cricket Academy, Zimbabwe XI


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm medium

Vusimuzi Sibanda

Vusi Sibanda is a contemporary of Tatenda Taibu, Hamilton Masakadza and Stuart Matsikenyeri. Like them, he comes from the Harare township of Highfield and earned a ZCU scholarship to Churchill High School. Sibanda is an opening batsman and an occasional medium-pace bowler, and was a student at the CFX Academy in 2002. He scored 58 on debut against the West Indies, but his selection for the national team came too early, and despite failing to live up to his potential, the crisis in the national side meant that he kept his place long after others would have been discarded. Despite being a superb timer of the ball off both the front and back feet, he was slow to learn the ability to build a big innings and his selections were due almost entirely to his outstanding potential rather than actual performance. He has a very sound technique, but poor shot selection has often brought about his downfall. Coach Kevin Curran noted that he matured well on the West Indian tour in May 2006. He suffered a hand injury early on, but took his opportunities when given them, starting the tour with 52 at Georgetown, and finishing with a 78 and then a superb century in the Tri-Series final against Bermuda.


He had a successful club season in Sydney, Australia, which seemed to have paid dividends when he registered scores of 47, 93 not out, and 64 in the home series against Bangladesh in February 2007. He could not carry this form into the World Cup, however, and his only innings of note in the tournament was 67 in Zimbabwe's tied game against Ireland at Kingston. He returned to Australian club cricket after the World Cup amid questions over his commitment to international cricket, but subsequently returned to Zimbabwe and was selected for the Afro-Asia Cup, making some impressive starts without being able to push on for a big score. He narrowly missed out on a first ODI hundred against a Test-playing nation when he was run out for 96 against the West Indies in Bulawayo in December 2007, and remained in contention for the national side thereafter with the odd good innings.


Sibanda seemed to have fully matured as a batsman during the 2009-10 Zimbabwean domestic season. He was named as captain of the Midwest Rhinos and called up for the Zimbabwe XI to take on Kenya in the Intercontinental cup game at Kwekwe. Responding superbly, he rescued the Zimbabweans with 209 in the first innings and sealed the victory with an unbeaten 116 in the second. This marked the beginning of a rich vein of form for Sibanda, and he rocketed to the top of the domestic first-class batting tables. Before the end of the Logan Cup, he had taken his season tally to almost 1500 runs at an average of 95 with nine hundreds, including a career-best 215. Tellingly, only once did he pass fifty and fail to reach a hundred. With statistics like those, it is hard to see how he can be left out of the national side, and will likely play a major role should Zimbabwe return to Test cricket in the near future.


Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:23 PM Comments comments (0)

Full name Sean Colin Williams


Born September 26, 1986, Bulawayo


Major teams Zimbabwe, Matabeleland, Matabeleland Tuskers, Zimbabwe Board XI, Zimbabwe Provinces, Zimbabwe Select XI, Zimbabwe Under-19s, Zimbabwe XI


Playing role Top-order batsman


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox


Relation Father - CR Williams, Brother - ML Williams

Sean Colin Williams

Sean Williams is regarded as being one of Zimbabwe's most promising youngsters, a left-hand top-order batsman and more than useful left-arm spinner. In the Under-19 World Cup in 2004 he was the pick of Zimbabwe's batsmen with 157 runs at 31.40, as well as five wickets, and was expected to be called up at the time of the players' strike in April 2004, but his father Collin, a former first-class player and national hockey coach, refused to release him and insisted his son should concentrate more on his studies. Almost a year later, and with just one first-class match under his belt, he was drafted into the Zimbabwe squad to tour South Africa. Although he led the U-19 side in the World Cup in Sri Lanka in February 2006 - the highlight being a win over England - there were rumours both before and after the tournament that he was not happy with the board. This turned out to be true when he turned down a central contract the following month, opting to look for a more settled career overseas, although he again changed his mind, returning to play for Zimbabwe three months later. Dogged by injuries, the on-off farrago resurfaced in 2008 when he again quit for a contract in South Africa, only to return weeks later.


Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:21 PM Comments comments (0)

Full name Prosper Utseya


Born March 26, 1985, Harare


Major teams Zimbabwe, Easterns (Zimbabwe), Mashonaland A, Mountaineers, Zimbabwe A, Zimbabwe Board XI, Zimbabwe Select XI, Zimbabwe Under-19s


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm offbreak

Prosper Utseya

Like so many in the new generation of Zimbabwe players, Prosper Utseya was first introduced to the game at Chipembere Primary School in the Harare township of Highfield, and won a ZCU scholarship to Churchill High School. A promising talent at school level, he made his first-class debut - opening the batting in the first innings - for Mashonaland A at the age of 15. He scored a fifty in a tight situation in just his second Logan Cup match, against Manicaland, a day before his 16th birthday, and soon moved into the Under-19 and Zimbabwe A sides, with some notable bowling performances along the way. In 2004, Utseya was unexpectedly thrust into the Zimbabwe national team against Sri Lanka at the age of 19 when the rebel players withdrew. Later that year, he was moved to Manicaland to strengthen the provincial side there, and was selected for the CFX Academy. Growing in experience, he took his first first-class five-wicket haul - 5 for 32 - against Manicaland in October of that year, and continued to hold a place in a weakened national side, taking up the captaincy from Terry Duffin in 2006.


Always economical without being incisive, Utseya came of age with the ball during the tour to West Indies in May 2006, where his flight and spin belied his lack of experience and years. He was consistently able to stem the flow of runs in the middle overs, and he provided two of the series highlights - one when he comprehensively beat Brian Lara with successive deliveries in the first match in Trinidad, and the other his remarkable diving, juggling boundary catch in the second. While he struggles to take wickets at international level, Utseya is a force to be reckoned with in Zimbabwean domestic cricket. His spin-bowling partnership with Timycen Maruma has resulted in a series of domestic titles, and in 2008-09 his ten-wicket haul helped Easterns clinch a thrilling one-wicket victory in a low-scoring contest against Northerns at Alexandra Sports Club in Harare that secured the Logan Cup. Utseya enjoyed a steady, if unspectacular, domestic season in 2009-10, though his franchise, Mountaineers, dominated the first-class scene.


Utseya tendered his resignation as national captain after the side's disappointing performance at the World Twenty20 in May 2010, saying that he was stepping down in the interest of the team's future development.


Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:19 PM Comments comments (0)

Full name Tinashe Panyangara


Born October 21, 1985, Marondera


Major teams Zimbabwe, Manicaland, Mountaineers, Zimbabwe Under-19s


Playing role Allrounder


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

Tinashe Panyangara

Tinashe Panyangara is a tall allrounder who first came to attention on the world stage with a remarkable bowling performance of 6 for 31 that sent the Australians tumbling to a shock defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe during the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2003-04. Panyangara's family lives in Marondera, a country town about 45 miles south-east of Harare. He learned his cricket at the local primary school - Godfrey Huggins - and was a boarder at Churchill High School in Harare. His allround performances attracted the attention of Takashinga Sports Club, and he was playing for their first team while in Form Four. He won selection for the national Under-19 side in 2003 for the first time. He is tall with a smooth bowling action and is noted for his accuracy, and opens the batting for Takashinga. Panyangara had hoped to spend this and next year gaining his A-levels before becoming a professional cricketer, but instead found himself opening the bowling for the national side after the sacking of the 15 rebel players. Early in 2005 he developed a stress fracture in the back, causing him to miss a year of cricket. It is hoped he will return soon, as with his all-round talents he is viewed as a vital part of Zimbabwe's cricketing future. A passionate player, his transparent delight at success on the field is a welcome change from the often stereotyped celebrations of many other international players.


Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:17 PM Comments comments (0)


Full name Christopher Bobby Mpofu


Born November 27, 1985, Plumtree, Matabeleland


Major teams Zimbabwe, Mashonaland, Matabeleland, Matabeleland Tuskers, Westerns


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

Christopher Bobby Mpofu

Among the clutch of players given their chance at international level because of the exodus of the rebels, Christopher Mpofu looks like he may have the abilities to forge a decent career. A tall seam bowler, he hits the pitch hard and can get good away movement - but as with many young quick bowlers consistency is his major problem. Technically, he has a good action but a better brace of his front leg through his delivery stride would allow him to make the most of his height, rather than collapsing as he tends to do at the moment. He made his ODI debut against England in October 2004 and caused the England top-order a few anxious moments. His early Test appearances did not set the world alight, and he lost his place after taking 3 for 343 in four matches - but he has the basics and anyone with a semblance of talent should be encouraged and nurtured. Mpofu has benefited noticeably from Heath Streak's appointment as Zimbabwe's bowling coach as his action has smoothed out, his outswing is becoming more consistent (although he still has a frustrating propensity to go too wide of off stump) and his pace has increased. One definite shortcoming, however, is his crease occupation. Not content with being stumped twice in an afternoon (for a pair) in the first Test against New Zealand in August 2005, he followed up by being run out for 3 in the second match, as he strolled down the pitch to congratulate his team-mate on reaching his half-century. He still tends to blow hot and cold and has few rivals in the race to be considered international cricket's worst batsman, but when Zimbabwe return to Test cricket Mpofu will have an important role to play.


Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Full name Shingirai Winston Masakadza


Born September 4, 1986, Harare


Major teams Zimbabwe, Easterns (Zimbabwe), Mountaineers, Zimbabwe Select XI


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium


Relation Brother - H Masakadza

Shingirai Winston Masakadza

Shingi Masakadza, an honest fast-medium seamer who opens the bowling for the Mountaineers franchise, has a lot to live up to - his older brother Hamilton plays a vital role for Zimbabwe at the top of the order, was the first black African to hit a Test century and was also, for a short time, the youngest player ever to do so on debut. Born in Harare's Highfield township, Shingi first learned the game at Mbizi Primary School and eventually found a position with Takashinga cricket club. He made his first-class debut in 2007-08, making an immediate impression by taking 21 wickets in four Logan Cup games at an amazing average of 11.95. He continued to put in steady performances in first-class cricket, picking up 24 wickets in 2008-9 and 40 in 2009-10, resulting in a call-up to the national side for the tour to West Indies in February 2010. He came back well after his first over in international cricket had been dispatched for 14 runs, grabbing three quick wickets at the death to seal a tense two-run victory in the first ODI in Guyana. Masakadza is also a handy lower-order batsman, with a first-class century to his name. He had a promising career as a budding professional footballer before opting for cricket.


Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:13 PM Comments comments (0)

Full name Gregory Arthur Lamb


Born March 4, 1981, Harare


Major teams Zimbabwe, Hampshire, Hampshire 2nd XI, Mashonaland A, Mashonaland Eagles, Zimbabwe Cricket Academy


Nickname Lamby


Playing role Allrounder


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm offbreak


Height 6 ft 0 in

Gregory Arthur Lamb

An allrounder who bowls offspin and bats in the middle order, Greg Lamb joined Hampshire's second XI in the summer of 2001 after being groomed by spells at the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy and with Mashonaland A in his youth. In 2005 he played in the winning Hampshire side in the C&G Trophy final against Warwickshire at Lord's, and was also a valuable member of the squad that finished runners up in the County Championship that season. In 2006 he struggled to get a regular place in the Championship side but topped the team's averages in the Twenty20 Cup with 183 runs at a strike rate of 115.82. But his opportunities in Hampshire's first XI dwindled along with falling returns with both bat and ball. After a forgettable 2007 season, he had more opportunities in 2008 but only had an impact in limited-overs games. He was released by Hampshire at the end of the 2009 season without having made a single appearance in their first XI in any format, and decided to take his chances with a return to Zimbabwe. The move paid immediate dividends for him, and before the season was over he had been called up to the national side for the tour to West Indies. Signed by the Mashonaland Eagles franchise, Lamb averaged 55.68 in the Logan Cup with two hundreds and 64.00 in the one-day competition - to go with a handy bowling average of 32.85 - before his call-up.


Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:11 PM Comments comments (0)

Full name Craig Richard Ervine


Born August 19, 1985, Harare


Major teams Zimbabwe, Midlands, Southern Rocks, Zimbabwe A, Zimbabwe Under-19s, Zimbabwe XI


Playing role Middle-order batsman


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm offbreak


Relation Father - RM Ervine, Uncle - NB Ervine, Brother - SM Ervine, Brother - R Ervine

Craig Richard Ervine

Few people in Zimbabwe cricket circles were surprised when Craig Ervine found his way into Zimbabwe colours. A stylish left-handed middle order batsman, Ervine hails from a family with a strong cricketing tradition - his father and uncle both played first-class cricket, albeit briefly, in the late 1970s, his older brother Sean had a promising fledgling international career with Zimbabwe before heading to England to become a reliable cog in Hampshire's middle order, and even younger brother Ryan has turned out for the Southern Rocks franchise on occasion.


But it is somewhat surprising that Ervine is playing cricket at all, as a freak accident in his early teens - he slipped and fell on a broken glass in his family's living room - required a three-hour reconstructive operation to his right hand. The injury had been so severe that amputation was considered an option in the initial diagnosis. Ervine's recovery from the injury focused his ambitions, and mid-way through his A level studies at Lomagundi College on the outskirts of Chinhoyi he won a place at the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy. Ervine soon found his way into the Midlands, and Zimbabwe Under-19 and A sides before heading to England to expand his horizons and improve his game.


After spells with English clubs Bexhill and Lordhood, and a stint with Irish club Lisburn in Belfast, Ervine returned to Zimbabwe and took up a contract with Masvingo-based franchise Southern Rocks. Ervine was their leading run-scorer in the 2009-10 Logan Cup with 575 runs at 33.82, and topped their one-day averages as well with 245 runs at 81.66, including a high score of 111 not out. His returns in the domestic Twenty20 competition were more modest, as he scored 68 runs in three innings, including an unbeaten 62, but he scored at the impressive strike rate of 154.54. A call-up to Zimbabwe's squad for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean followed, but although Ervine's contribution in a 114-run partnership with Elton Chigumbura was vital to Zimbabwe's victory over Australia in the tournament warm-ups, he could do nothing to stem the team's collapse in their crucial group stage encounter with New Zealand.


Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:09 PM Comments comments (0)

Full name Charles Kevin Coventry


Born March 8, 1983, Kwekwe, Midlands


Major teams Zimbabwe, Matabeleland, Matabeleland Tuskers, Westerns, Zimbabwe Cricket Academy


Nickname Choppa


Playing role Top-order batsman


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Legbreak


Fielding position Wicketkeeper


Relation Father - CK Coventry

Charles Kevin Coventry

Charles Coventry is an aggressive middle-order batsman who can open in one-day cricket and also keep wicket. He was Zimbabwe's youngest first-class player at 15 years 303 days, for Matabeleland in 1998, although that was due to being in the right place when a selected player withdrew at the last minute. Son of international umpire Charles Coventry, he learned his cricket at Whitestone School and Christian Brothers College in Bulawayo, and plays for Bulawayo Athletic Club. He played for the national Under-19 team in the World Cup in 2002, when he was also a student at the CFX Academy. He bats in glasses and most of his successes have been in one-day cricket; he has yet to learn to build major innings in first-class cricket. He favours the lofted drive but as yet lacks the discipline required of a consistently successful batsman. Despite this, he played two Tests against India in September 2005, after the withdrawal of most of Zimbabwe's top players, and did no worse than anybody else. However, coach Kevin Curran reports that he was sent back from the West Indies tour for disciplinary reasons. He went to play club cricket in England and wasn't part of the senior Zimbabwe side for three years. He made a headline-grabbing return in August 2009, equalling the record for the highest individual ODI score by blasting an unbeaten 194 in the fourth match against Bangladesh in Bulawayo.


Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:07 PM Comments comments (0)

Full name Brendan Ross Murray Taylor


Born February 6, 1986, Harare


Major teams Zimbabwe, Mashonaland A, Mid West Rhinos, Zimbabwe Under-19s


Playing role Wicketkeeper batsman


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm offbreak


Fielding position Wicketkeeper

Brendan Ross Murray Taylor

Brendan Taylor, who was fast-tracked into the Zimbabwe national team against Sri Lanka in 2003-04 at the age of 18 after the withdrawal of the so-called rebel players, shot to prominence at Cape Town on September 12, 2007, when his ice-cool 60 not out carried Zimbabwe to an incredible five-wicket win over Australia in the ICC World Twenty20. Taylor was back where he began as an opening batsman, having briefly moved down the order, and he marshalled a tense run-chase with the sort of sang froid that few had ever credited him with. It was not the first time he has displayed a calm head in a pressurised situation, however. In August 2006 he smoked 17 runs from the last over of a run chase - including a six to win off the last ball when five were needed - to give Zimbabwe a 2-1 lead in the ODI series against Bangladesh. Taylor has always had the ability to build an innings, but developed a penchant for being dismissed while trying to play too aggressively.


He was nurtured by Iain Campbell, father of Alistair, at the well-known Lilfordia primary school near Harare, was a regular choice for national age-group teams and played in two Under-19 World Cups. He made his first-class debut for Mashonaland A at the age of 15; the following year he scored 200 not out in the B Division of the Logan Cup. He appears to be well regarded in Zimbabwe Cricket, so much so that he was picked for the national side despite not signing a new contract at the start of 2006, and despite an earlier suspension for disciplinary reasons. With the temporary departure of Tatenda Taibu, he took over the wicketkeeping gloves in the West Indies; he has kept wicket regularly since primary school. As a batsman he was well respected by the opposition, but tended to get out when well set. Poor footwork was also a handicap at times, but has worked to improve that, and in November 2009 struck his maiden one-day hundred, playing a lone hand in his unbeaten 118 as Zimbabwe struggled to 221 for 9 in unfamiliar conditions. His favourite stroke is the full-blooded front-foot cover drive, and though he is not quick in the field, he has a very safe pair of hands.