|Posted by anccricket on October 27, 2008 at 3:21 PM|
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
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.