The Sunday Mail
TWO years ago, almost to the day, the thought of staying in Bangladesh a day longer was tantamount to one getting operated on without any form of anesthetic.
The Zimbabwe Under-19 cricket team had just fallen victim to arguably the biggest injustice in their young budding careers, as a mankard dismissal – effected by West Indies fast-bowler Keemo Paul – saw the team dumped out of the ICC Under-19 World Cup.
And as captain at the time, Brendan Mavuta had to take up post-match pleasantries and address the media and the world at large.
“We got so close, no comment about it,” said a visibly shaken Mavuta while referring to the dismissal.
“I don’t have anything to say right now.
“No comment,” he said.
Now, Mavuta’s cricket career is expected to come full circle as he returns to the scene of the crime, Bangladesh, albeit with the senior national team.
Mavuta is one of three new faces within the Chevrons outfit that is expected to travel to the sub-continent, in two days’ time, and take part a Tri-series that features Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and hosts Bangladesh.
And the 20-year-old Rising Stars all-rounder couldn’t be happier.
“I have worked hard for this and can’t explain how happy I am to be simply part of the Chevrons squad,” said “Rango” as Mavuta is affectionately known amongst his peers.
“It’s a great feeling. Growing up it was my dream to play for my national side and I am overwhelmed to be part of the squad; rubbing shoulders with guys I used to watch on TV and getting mentoring from them,” he said. Fellow debutant Ryan Murray and Blessing Muzarabani complete the trio.
The nod shouldn’t come as a surprise for this boy from Kadoma whose love for cricket and habit to play the game with his heart on his sleeves once saw him adopt the moniker “Mr Cricket”.
“One thing all my team mates know is that I don’t back down from a challenge and this is a challenge I have been waiting for for a very long time.
“I am ready for it like never before,” he said. The Rising Stars Academy player is eager to set foot in Bangladesh, the land of sad memories.
“Definitely and that’s an advantage from my side because I have played there before, so I kind of know what type of wickets to expect and am looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
The 20-year-old is coming from a personally successful tour of Dubai with the Zimbabwe A side where he picked up 12 wickets in five one-day matches against UAE.
He has also played one List A match that was against Afghanistan in 2o17 recording bowling figures of 3-20.
It’s because of the said tour, and his almost identical start in first class cricket, where he scored 315 and taken 26 wickets for Rising Stars and his former team Mid West Rhinos, in just nine games that selectors have decided to call him up.
A call he received while on his way back from Botswana, where he had gone to visit and train with the man that discovered him – Innocent Chando.
“I was coming from Botswana to see my coach, Innocent Chando, when Tendai Chisoro broke the news to me. I had gone there to see and train with him.
“He (Chando) found me playing street cricket in Rimuka when I was six years old and he got me into cricket when I started my Grade One at Chedonje Primary School.
“I am here because of him, together with my mother and Tatenda Taibu through his Rising Stars initiative.”
“They all played a massive role in my game and the life,” he said.