Gary Bazil Brent
January 13, 1976, Sinoia (now Chinhoyi), Mashonaland
Right hand Bat
Right arm Medium
Gary Brent was a steady, unpretentious wobbler of a seam bowler, possessed with tenacious accuracy, a useful inswinger and an excellent slower ball. His stop-start international career can be separated into two distinct phases. After making a nervous debut as a 20-year-old on the 1996-97 Pakistan tour, he spent seven years as a fringe player, performing steadily but never quite making the most of his opportunities. He was overlooked for the 2003 World Cup and then failed to make an impact in the NatWest Series in England. He did however make the squad for the 2003-04 tour to Australia. Brent then allied himself with the 15 rebel players whose dispute with the Zimbabwe board lead to their dismissal in 2004, and it seemed that this had brought his international career to an end.
He received an unexpected recall during the Champions Trophy in India in 2006-07, however, beginning a second, productive phase during which he played the role of elder statesman and most experienced player in a weakened side. The added responsibility proved to be a boon for him, and in his first international season back in the side Brent picked up 19 wickets at an average of 20.31. His bowling form fell away somewhat thereafter, but he registered his highest score in one-day internationals, an unbeaten 59, against South Africa at Harare in 2007. He sent down nine parsimonious overs in the same game, and was named man-of-the-match for his efforts. Brent also played a vital part in Zimbabwe's shock victory over Australia at the World Twenty20 in South Africa, having Ricky Ponting brilliantly caught at third man and castling Brett Lee to finish with figures of 2 for 19 in four overs. He grew increasingly frustrated with the attitude of the national selectors and limited international opportunities, however, and gave notice on his contract in 2008, expressing a desire to pursue a coaching career in England.
Liam Brickhill January 2010
Batting & Fielding