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Full name Mpumelelo Mbangwa
Born June 26, 1976, Plumtree, Matabeleland
Current age 38 years 32 days
Major teams Zimbabwe, Mashonaland, Matabeleland
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Other Coach, Commentator
|Test debut||Pakistan v Zimbabwe at Faisalabad, Oct 24-26, 1996 scorecard|
|Last Test||Zimbabwe v New Zealand at Harare, Sep 19-23, 2000 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Pakistan v Zimbabwe at Lahore, Nov 1, 1996 scorecard|
|Last ODI||England v Zimbabwe at Colombo (RPS), Sep 18, 2002 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Mashonaland v Matabeleland at Harare, Sep 19-22, 2003 scorecard|
|List A debut||1995/96|
|Last List A||Manicaland v Matabeleland at Harare, Feb 12, 2004 scorecard|
Pommie Mbangwa's rise to prominence was all the more remarkable as he had no family background in cricket. A little short of the top pace, he was primarily a line-and-length bowler, using both seam and swing, with the away-swinger his stock ball. He spent a year at school in England, and in 1996 he went to Madras for coaching by Dennis Lillee; on his return he was offered a place in the Plascon Academy in South Africa, which he attended from April to September 1996. A surprise choice for the Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan in 1996-97, he made his Test debut after the first choice bowlers were injured but made the most of his opportunity, taking the vital wickets of Ijaz Ahmed and Wasim Akram. But thereafter he struggled to maintain consistency, and his lack of pace meant that he was easy picking for international batsmen. He drifted in and out of the side, before disappearing from the international scene. In 2001 he started television commentary, where his quiet thoughtful views were well received, and in 2005 he ended a brief foray into coaching by commiting full-time to his TV career. He was one of international cricket's genuine No. 11s.
Martin Williamson April 2005
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