THE Zimbabwe A cricket team has recorded a 100% success rate against six Associate member nations in recent months, an encouraging sign for the country’s second-string cricketers.
IndependentSport picks 10 upcoming players (five batsman and five bowlers) he rates as the brightest prospects in the country.
Tino Mawoyo (23)
Currently injured, Mawoyo is a future kingpin of the team. A sound stroke-maker, the right-handed opening batsman and wicketkeeper has presence at the wicket and is not afraid to take the attack to both pace and spin.
He has two ODI caps won in Bangladesh in 2006. A long-term injury has stood in his development path. A rare cricket talent from Mutare, the former Zimbabwe Under 19 captain was educated in the city at Hillcrest College, where he was headboy.
His versatile sporting talents are remarkable, and former schoolmates speak glowingly of how he could have easily walked into the Warriors or Sables sides.
Forster Mutizwa (23)
Mutizwa made his ODI debut in Kenya after three years of first-class cricket. His average from 12 first-class matches is 32,17.
The Takashinga player came to prominence in the series with some swashbuckling display, and also took over the gloves from Tatenda Taibu.
He is however still to be tested against stronger international bowling attacks, so needs time to prove his mettle.
Malcolm Waller (24)
Malcolm is the son of former Zimbabwe batsman Andy Waller. The middle-order batsman, together with Forster Mutizwa were the two rookie tourists to Bangladesh and Kenya.
Malcom made his debut in Bangladesh but came to the fore in Kenya, where like Mutizwa he enjoyed success against a submissive Kenyan attack.
“Bundu” (After his father’s nickname) didn’t have the privilege of a strong first-class foundation, being selected almost purely on club form for Harare Sports Club.
But his talents were too good to ignore. He needs runs against stronger opposition to settle in the side.
Cephas Zhuwawo (24)
Zhuwawo continues to defy his humble beginnings in the high-density suburb of Glen View – where he was educated – to become one of the most exciting talents in Zimbabwe. A top-order batsman and decent leg-break bowler, he hits cleanly and far.
In domestic cricket, he makes runs for fun, hitting bowlers over the top quite too often. He however doesn’t transform his 40s and 50s into bigger innings.
He has one ODI under his belt, against Ireland in Kenya in 2008.
Regis Chakabva (21)
Another Churchill and Takashinga product, Chakabva has been a regular feature for the Zimbabwe A side for two years.
He scored 41 runs on his ODI debut against Kenya last year. He is a steady opening batsman with a delicate technique.
He is a short but agile wicketkeeper who is tipped to become a leading player in the national side in future.
Trevor Garwe (22)
Garwe cannot be regarded as a rookie, having played first-class cricket for Mashonaland when the old guard was still around. National selection has continued to elude him.
In a normal situation, Garwe would be considered to have the correct foundation as he was not rushed, but when many of his contemporaries prematurely find themselves into the national side, he is bound to get frustrated. “VB” is a medium-fast bowler who relies on swing and seam and possess a dangerous slower ball, his best asset.
Admire Manyumwa (21)
Manyumwa is arguably the quickest bowler in Zimbabwe at the moment despite his rather small stature.Â The right-armer from Chitungwiza impressed West Indies players with his pace while bowling to them in the Harare Sports Club nets last year.Â
He however needs a bit of control over his deliveries to adjust line and length, and that will require specialised coaching.
Taurai Muzarabani (22)
When Gary Brent retired from international cricket, he tipped Muzarabani to be a future cornerstone of Zimbabwe’s bowling. Of slender built, the Takashinga right-arm seamer can swing quite sharply and is fast learning the art of movement.
He was successful in 2007 when Zimbabwe A played in the South African Airways B Challenge.
Graeme Cremer (23)
Cremer is not exactly an upcoming player, but since making his Test debut in Bangladesh back in 2004, he has not found a permanent place in the side because as a legspinner, he was considered a longer version specialist at a time Zimbabwe is not playing Tests.
He however has shown keenness and ability to adjust to the demands of limited overs. He should extend Zimbabwe’s legacy of quality slow bowlers.
Timycen Maruma (20)
From the Churchill/Takashinga conveyer belt, this lanky offspinner has shown great promise at the Zimbabwe A level, bowling tight overs in the mid-innings and getting crucial breakthroughs. He can also hit hard down the order and is sometimes used as a pinch-heater in the top-order.
BY ENOCK MUCHINJO