STUART CARLISLE -- BIOGRAPHY
Full Name: Stuart Vance Carlisle
Born: 10 May 1972, Harare
Major Teams: Zimbabwe (1994/95- ), Mashonaland Under-24 (1993/94-1995/96), Mashonaland 1996/97-).
Present club team: Harare Sports Club.
Known as: Stuart/Stuey Carlisle
Batting Style: Right Hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium Pace (occasional)
Test Debut: First Test v Pakistan, at Harare Sports Club, 1994/95
ODI Debut: 22 February 1995, v Pakistan, Harare Sports Club
Biography (December 1996)
Stuart Carlisle is the son of a first-class cricketer, as his father, Harare businessman Alistair Carlisle, represented Transvaal B in the Sixties. He is the youngest of a strong sporting family; his older brother Gary, now in America, is a strong all-round sportsman, especially hockey, while his mother was a top softball player who played for Rhodesia and his sister has represented South Africa at hockey.
Stuart himself, born after his father returned to this country, first played in his back yard with his brother and sister; later on, Alistair joined in to help and instruct in the basics. He first played matches at Courteney Selous Primary School before moving to St John's for his final two years, and also made great progress at the Eagles holiday cricket programmes, run by George Goodwin. In his final year of junior school, he scored his first century, against Ruzawi, one of the country's strongest junior school teams, and was awarded a bat. Later on, attending high school at Peterhouse, just outside Marondera, he played in the school first team during his final three years there. Captain in his final year, he scored 181 in one match, having previously made his highest score to date of 196 for the Under-15 team. He represented Zimbabwe Schools, touring Australia in 1988 and England in 1989, and then to Australia again two years later. He was among the top batsmen on each of his tours. The tour to Australia was a particular pleasure, with the team playing some of Australia's top school sides and winning ten matches, against only two defeats. Stuart pays tribute to the help given him by the Peterhouse coaches Alan French and Mark Jardine.
After leaving school, he worked for Claude Neon Signs for eighteen months before deciding to attend Natal Technikon; he has just completed his third year there and will stay for a fourth to finish his diploma with the Institute of Marketing Management, and possibly a fifth if he decides to do a degree. He plays in South Africa for the Natal Technikon club which won the premier league last season. In the champion of champions competition between all the top club sides from the various South African provinces, Technikon finished second. During his limited time with them, Stuart played an innings of 140 and a couple of fifties, and was also selected for the South African national Technikon team.
Stuart has played for most of his career in the middle order, but in 1993 he decided to open the batting, which he considers to be the best move he has ever made. Critics may say that he does not have the technique to be an opener at the top level; if not, he has proved that he certainly has the guts and determination, the ability to hang on doggedly against the best new-ball bowlers. He began his career as an opener with four fifties in a row in league matches and was immediately promoted to the Zimbabwe Board XI, in 1993/94. After a quiet start, he finished the season with a determined unbeaten 111 against Natal B. Further good innings for the same team the following season earned him a Test place, replacing wicket-keeper Wayne James who had not scored enough runs, in the selectors' eyes, to warrant his retention when Andy Flower could add wicketkeeping to his batting and captaincy.
This First Test against Pakistan, which resulted in Zimbabwe's maiden Test victory, remains Stuart's most memorable match, even though, down to bat at Number Seven, he didn't even get to the crease. He did sit with his pads on for eleven hours, as Grant Flower shared two massive partnerships with his brother Andy and then with Guy Whittall! But three fine catches all helped materially towards Zimbabwe's innings victory. He has always been a superb fielder.
At club level, he plays for Harare Sports Club, moving there after a year at Old Hararians so as to open the batting. He acknowledges the encouragement he receives there from senior players like Iain Butchart and Malcolm Jarvis, and also at national level from Dave Houghton and the Flower brothers.
Although still a student, Stuart does not find it interfering unduly with his cricket. He made his decision to take his course before professionalism really came into cricket in Zimbabwe, and decided to try to get the best of both worlds, pursuing his diploma while playing cricket at the same time. When he has graduated, he is considering the possibility of running his own business in retailing or import and export, perhaps with sporting goods -- or as a professional cricketer, should he be offered a contract.
He feels that Zimbabwe cricket needs to concentrate more on their one-day cricket at present; they have been working hard at their Test cricket, but the limited-over game has been left behind. They require a different technique and different treatment. He also has the idea of the national players going out to schools, especially junior schools, more readily, and using their fame to promote the game and inspire and motivate the children.
Andy Flower says, "I'm sure Stuart will be playing in the Tests against England, and maybe in the one-dayers batting down the order. The last time he played for Zimbabwe was when we were on tour in New Zealand; he did very well and was unlucky not to make the World Cup squad. He has displayed the right sort of mental toughness and discipline required by Test cricket. He is probably still a little limited in his strokeplay and finds it difficult to dominate the bowlers, but he has the ability to work out and understand the game."