July 25, 1982, King William's Town, Cape Province
Right hand bat
Right arm fast
Young, raw and quick, Zondeki is cut straight from the modern history of the new South Africa and spent a year of his early childhood in Zambia living with his exiled uncle, the late ANC cabinet minister Steve Tshwete.He returned to South Africa where he attended Dale College, a predominantly white boarding school near his home in the Eastern Cape, but which also claims Makhaya Ntini as an old boy. Although he initially bowled legspin, he was soon bowling fast and later, very fast. After Mfuneko Ngam's huge promise was severed by a string of injuries, Zondeki became the next young fast bowler to attempt to fill the boots of Allan Donald.
He could hardly have made a more stunning impact, taking a wicket withhis first ball in international cricket, Sri Lanka's Marvan Atapattu caught in the slips during a one-day international in Bloemfontein in 2002. During the 2003 World Cup, Zondeki was a literal replacement for Donald, the selectors opting for youth and promise over experience. Predictably, Zondeki struggled to make an impression under enormous pressure but was seleced for the 2003 tour of England. He made an impression on his debut at Headingley, but with bat not ball. South Africa were struggling at 142 for 7 before Zondeki and Gary Kisten added 150 for the eighth wicket. But a side injury restricted him to just 4.5 overs, and his bad luck with injuries meant he did not get back into the Test side until March 2005, against Zimbabwe. It was an impressive comeback, nine wickets - including a career best 6 for 39 - booking him a place to the West Indies. He managed just seven wickets in three Tests in the Caribbean, and recurring injuries seriously hampered his chances at international level.
However, he enjoyed an excellent 2007-08 domestic season, during which he was the leading wicket-taker with 62 at 19.16, and was called up to South Africa's Test squad to India after Charl Langeveldt pulled out. Zondeki was also Warwickshire's overseas signing for the 2008 season. He got a chance again at the international level against the touring Kenyan and Bangladeshi sides in October and November 2008, and was later picked in the touring party for Australia.
Cricinfo Staff November 2008
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