ZIMBABWE Cricket looks set to lose yet another promising cricketer to Test playing nation after Australia last week named rising all-rounder Hilton Cartwright in their “A” side to play two four-day matches against India “A” in Brisbane next month.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 24-year-old Harare-born star earned selection in the Australia “A” side after a solid season in Australia’s premier first-class cricket competition the Sheffield Shield competition.
Cartwright scored 409 runs at 68.16 for Western Australia, including his maiden hundred and also picked up eight wickets at 27.75 with his medium-pacers.
The Marondera-bred player, who has also featured in the lucrative Big Bash Twenty20 League for the Perth Scorchers, is one of the two Western Australia players in the squad together with fast bowler David Moody — the nephew of former Australia player Tom Moody.
Australia national selector Rod Marsh said the pair, who had not been initially included in the squad, would have an opportunity to impress during the second four-day match against India A set for September 15 to 18 at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane.
“David Moody and Hilton Cartwright were not previously named in the wider Australia A squad, but due to call-ups to the national side, they now have an opportunity to impress in the final matches of the series,” he said.
Born in Harare on February 14, 1992, Cartwright spent most of his early childhood at his family’s farm in Marondera before they relocated to Australia after being forced to abandon their property during the chaotic land reform programme at the turn of the millennium.
“Since I was five, it had always been my goal to play for Zimbabwe, but when our situation changed and we came here, I wanted to get that Baggy Green (Australian shirt) and these are my first steps playing for Western Australia and the Scorchers. I’ve had a few bumps along the way, but I’ve worked through and earned my spot,” Cartwright said after being signed by the Perth Scorchers.
Ironically, should Cartwright go on to play for Australia, he would have followed in the footsteps of fellow Zimbabwe-bred Wallabies star David Pocock, whose family also moved to Australia at the height of the land invasions.
In cricket terms, he would have joined the growing list of Zimbabwe-born players such as Gary Balance, Sean Ervine and Colin de Grandhomme who have opted to try their luck elsewhere than play for Zimbabwe.