Sean Michael Ervine
December 06, 1982, Harare
Also Known As
Left hand bat
Right arm medium, Right arm offbreak
Sean Ervine was a good enough allrounder to be capped 47 times by Zimbabwe, including five Tests with his debut coming at Lord's. He played in the 2003 World Cup but rebelled against the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and left the country in May 2004 for a new life in Australia. He subsequently made his way to England, settled with Hampshire and forged a very successful county career. After 14 years in county cricket, and two games on loan at Derbyshire, he decided to retire as the 2018 season neared its end. He had played an important role in the most successful period in Hampshire's history with seven trophies gathered during his time at the club.
A surprise pick for an understrength Zimbabwean side, Ervine made his one-day debut in the fourth match of England's tour in October 2001 at only 18. Ervine was primarily a medium-paced outswinger with a frantic whirling action and a handy lower-order batsman but as his batting stocks increased his bowling fell away. He began to show signs that he was maturing into a genuine international player with a half-century in Perth and further fifties against Bangladesh in Harare. But the second Test in Bulawayo, ruined by rain, proved to be his last. His departure epitomised the player drain which undermined Zimbabwean cricket.
Ervine made an immediate impact with Hampshire, under the captaincy of Shane Warne. He scored consistently as they finished runners-up in the Championship and hit centuries in the semi-final and final (against Warwickshire) of the 2005 C&G Cup to lead his new side to glory, although a ruptured cruciate in the last game of the season had a detrimental effect on his bowling from then on. Further trophies came in 2009, 2010 (when he also made 237 not out against Somerset in the County Championship - the highest score by a Hampshire batsman below No. 6) and a one-day double in 2012. He continued to show his ability in 2014, averaging 45.05 in the Championship as Hampshire gained promotion and made sizeable contributions as Hampshire escaped relegation in 2015 and 2016 (the latter assisted by the ECB who sent Durham down in their place). He ranked his best innings as an unbeaten 84 against Durham to win an unlikely run chase at Basingstoke in 2008.
He flirted with a return to Zimbabwe in 2009-10 when he signed for Southern Rocks where his brother Craig was a regular. His maiden first-class double hundred and a match-saving 178-run partnership with his brother in his comeback match rekindled his love for his home country and it appeared he would return for the 2011 World Cup after being named in Zimbabwe's squad. But weeks before the team departed for India Ervine re-thought his decision and pulled out, opting for the safety of a county contract rather the uncertainty that would come with returning to the country of his birth.
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