Craig Richard Ervine
August 19, 1985, Harare
Left hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Middle order Batter
Few people in Zimbabwe cricket circles were surprised when Craig Ervine found his way into Zimbabwe colours. A stylish left-handed middle-order batsman, Ervine hails from a family with a strong cricketing tradition - his father and uncle both played first-class cricket, albeit briefly, in the late 1970s, his older brother Sean had a promising fledgling international career with Zimbabwe before heading to England to become a reliable cog in Hampshire's middle order, and even younger brother Ryan has turned out for the Southern Rocks franchise on occasion.
But it is somewhat surprising that Ervine is playing cricket at all, as a freak accident in his early teens - he slipped and fell on a broken glass in his family's living room - required a three-hour reconstructive operation to his right hand. The injury had been so severe that amputation was considered an option in the initial diagnosis. Ervine's recovery from the injury focused his ambitions, and mid-way through his A level studies at Lomagundi College on the outskirts of Chinhoyi he won a place at the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy. Ervine soon found his way into the Midlands, and Zimbabwe Under-19 and A sides before heading to England to expand his horizons and improve his game.
After spells with English clubs Bexhill and Lordhood, and a stint with Irish club Lisburn in Belfast, Ervine returned to Zimbabwe and took up a contract with Masvingo-based franchise Southern Rocks. Ervine was their leading run-scorer in the 2009-10 Logan Cup and topped their one-day averages as well. His returns in the domestic Twenty20 competition were more modest, but a call-up to Zimbabwe's squad for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean followed.
Ervine's returns from Zimbabwe's trip to the Caribbean in early 2013 suggested a career heading in the right direction. He averaged 60.50 in the ODIs against West Indies, and was the leading run-scorer across all three formats on the tour. When Zimbabwe returned home, however, Ervine refused a paltry winter contract offer from ZC and instead left the country to play club cricket for Lisburn and Grade Cricket for Morley in Western Australia. It appeared another bright talent had been lost to Zimbabwean cricket, but after an 18-month break Ervine once again made himself available for Zimbabwe ahead of the 2014-15 season. The 2015 World Cup was surely a motivation for his move, and Ervine was included in Zimbabwe's squad for that tournament.
Batting & Fielding