Alistair Douglas Ross Campbell
September 23, 1972, Salisbury (now Harare)
Left hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Eaglesvale High School
An elegant left-hander, Alistair Campbell showed great early promise, being selected for the national side while still at school, and becoming the youngest Zimbabwean to make a first-class century. He could play a wide range of shots, generating power without apparent effort. He occasionally bowled right-arm offspin, and was a magnificent fielder in any position.
Picked for the 1992 World Cup at only 19, he struggled against world-class bowling, but the experience was invaluable. He soon became a fixture in the national side, and greatly impressed on the 1993-94 Pakistan tour, against one of the strongest bowling attacks in the world. Campbell's aggressive style proved effective in one-day internationals, but his wish to dominate the bowling led to difficulties in building big innings in Test matches. After being stuck on a Test-best of 99 for five years, he finally scored his first century, against India in Nagpur in 2000-01, and followed that up with 103 the following summer against West Indies.
On taking over the captaincy in 1996, he led Zimbabwe to some notable successes, including their remarkable series victory in Pakistan in 1998-99, and their qualification for the Super Sixes in the 1999 World Cup. However, he stood down from the captaincy in November that year, citing personal reasons and he abruptly announced his retirement from international cricket under a cloud after he was originally overlooked for the 2003 World Cup but was later brought back in as an injury replacement.
For a time, Campbell ran Lilfordia Junior School in Harare with his father, Iain, a prominent junior coach who groomed a number of Zimbabwe's cricketers. Amid the revamping of Zimbabwe's domestic structure in 2009-10, Campbell took on administrative roles in the board, guiding the team's return to Test cricket in 2011. He later also worked as Zimbabwe Cricket's managing director.
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