Sean Colin Williams
September 26, 1986, Bulawayo
Left hand Bat
Slow Left arm Orthodox
Middle order Batter
Sean Williams is a bold, dynamic left-hand batsman, and one of the most striking features about his batting is his proficiency at the reverse-sweep. That shot has occupied a proud position in the repertoire of some of Zimbabwe's finest batsmen: legend has it that Dave Houghton brought up both his hundred and his double with reverse-sweeps in the course of his 266 against Sri Lanka, and Andy Flower used the stroke in an almost profligate manner in many of his memorable innings. Williams is as adept at the stroke as either of these two elder statesmen of Zimbabwean cricket, which he proved during the course of his maiden Test century against New Zealand in Bulawayo in July 2016. Equally astounding was his resolve to overcome sickness and high fever to battle on for over three hours during the course of that knock, in a game in which Zimbabwe were floundering.
Reverse-sweeps aside, Williams has other shots too, and plays them often. His precocious talent was apparent while he was still a teenager. He was expected to be called up at the time of the players' strike in April 2004, but his father Collin, a former first-class player and national hockey coach, refused to release him and insisted his son should concentrate more on his studies. Almost a year later, and with just one first-class match under his belt, he was drafted into the Zimbabwe squad to tour South Africa. Although he led the U-19 side in the World Cup in Sri Lanka in February 2006 - the highlight being a win over England - there were rumours both before and after the tournament that he was not happy with the board. This turned out to be true when he turned down a central contract the following month, opting to look for a more settled career overseas. He changed his mind three months later, however, returning to play for Zimbabwe. The on-off farrago resurfaced in 2008 when he again quit for a contract in South Africa, only to return weeks later.
One feels that disciplinary issues, whether perceived or actual, are never far away with Williams, who often speaks in as forthright a manner as he bats. He is one of Zimbabwe's best players of spin but was was not considered for selection for Zimbabwe's tour of Bangladesh in late 2014 after interruptions in his involvement in a training camp and an aborted disciplinary hearing. Williams responded to his omission with two centuries, a 96 and 10 wickets for Tuskers while Zimbabwe were away, underlining just what they were missing. If he is managed well Williams has the potential to be an all-round match-winner for Zimbabwe. He has a more-than-useful second string as a left-arm spinner and a keen cricketing brain, having captained Zimbabwe Under-19 and Matabeleland Tuskers on occasion.
Batting & Fielding