HARARE – The formidable pair of Nick Welch and Kundai Matigimu spearheads the Zimbabwe Under-16 batting and bowling hopes for the Eastern Junior Club Cricket Association (EJCCA) Southern African Festival at Benoni in South Africa this week.
The team leaves for South African tomorrow together with their seniors, the Under18.
Both players aspire to higher honours in the future and they have shown their exciting emerging talent on many occasions.
The sharp-eyed Welch, 15, is probably the youngest in Zimbabwe cricket history to score a First League century — he was just 14 last year when he recorded this feat as opening batsman for Country Club against Royals.
During his career so far, the St John’s College all-rounder has notched up a remarkable 15 centuries.
The lanky St George’s College opening bowler, Matigimu is already whipping up significant speed of around 125 km/h and Zimbabwe Under-16 coach Ian Tinker suggests:
“He would not disgrace himself at Under-19 level for pace. And he is also capable of scoring a quick 100 in the middle order.”
Tinker believes that the team’s top-order batting is thin and that, “this will put Nick Welch under real pressure to perform and I’ve told him I want him to face the first and last balls of each innings.”
Zimbabwe Under-16 is captained by Walter Huchu of St George’s and has a well-rounded bowling attack that includes five spinners, led by Huchu and development players Gabriel Jaya of Kyle College and the left-arm Wallace Mubaiwa.
The others are both leg-spinners — Lochlan Butler and Welch.
Other development players are Davies Murwendo and Keith Jaure, both of Prince Edward.
Zimbabwe Under-16 squad: Walter Huchu (captain), Nick Welch, Declan Vermaak, Brendan Sly, Jayden Schadendorf, Davies Murwendo, Ryan Murray, Wallace Mubaiwa, Kundai Matigimu, Gabriel Jaya, Keith Jaure, Lochlan Butler, Tino Muzamhindo.
Manager: Richard Harrison.
Coach: Ian Tinker.