October 21, 1985, Marondera
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Tall, with a smooth, languid action, Tinashe Panyangara uses an old-fashioned recipe of swing, seam and precision to make good use of the new ball. His international career has had two clear phases: the first, when he debuted amid the state of emergency in Zimbabwean cricket that came after the sacking of the 15 'rebel' players and the second, when he returned to Zimbabwe an older, wiser bowler ahead of the 2010-11 season.
Panyangara made his international debut at just 18 years old, when he should have been studying for his A levels but was instead opening the bowling against Sanath Jayasuriya. Though it arrived too early, even before his debut it was clear that Panyangara would eventually play for the national side - he'd come to attention on the world stage with a remarkable bowling performance of 6 for 31 that dismantled Australia at the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in February 2004.
But he lasted less than a year in the national set-up before, in early 2005, he developed a stress fracture in his back that kept him away from competitive cricket for a year. He left Zimbabwe for England, eventually resurfacing as an opening bowler for West Indian Cavaliers, a club side in the Nottinghamshire Premier League. He was a yard slower but, in swing-friendly English conditions, increasingly adept at moving the ball through the air and off the pitch.
Panyangara returned to Zimbabwe in 2010 and slotted almost immediately into the A side. He missed out on a spot in Zimbabwe's team for the Test return against Bangladesh in August 2011 but played an integral role in Zimbabwe's historic win over Pakistan in September 2013. With form, fitness and greener pastures overseas clearing away much of his fast-bowling competition, Panyangara played for Zimbabwe much more regularly in the seasons that followed. He settled into his role as one of the team's senior seamers with aplomb and was known as a lighthearted presence in the dressing room.
Panyangara grew up in Marondera, a country town about 45 miles south-east of Harare, and learned his cricket at the local primary school - Godfrey Huggins. He was a boarder at Churchill High School in Harare, and his allround skill helped him break into the Takashinga Sports Club first team before he'd written his O Levels. He'd sometimes open the batting for Takashinga, and remains a competent, if unspectacular, batsman, occasionally helping the Zimbabwean tail to wag.
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