NATIONAL cricket team fast-medium bowler Tawanda Mupariwa will team up with former Zimbabwean Under-19 captain Matthew Bentley in Ireland after agreeing to join Irish club Strabane ahead of the start of the season in April.
Mupariwa last played for Zimbabwe in 2008, but was recently included in Zimbabwe’s provisional squad for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 (T20) competition to be held in Bangladesh.
Strabane, who are the former North West champions, confirmed the acquisition of Mupariwa early this week.
“Also making his way to the Park ahead of the new season is Tawanda Mupariwa, a 28-year-old former Zimbabwean International bowler. Mupariwa has played just one Test match and four T20’s for his country.
“However, he has been capped 55 times in one-day internationals. He is a medium-fast right arm seamer who will certainly plug a new-ball gap as the Tyrone side looks to get back to the business end of the Premier Division table,” said Strabane in a statement.
Mupariwa, who spent last season at Masvingo-based Southern Rocks recently made a return to Matabeleland Tuskers, claiming five wickets in their first Logan Cup match of the season in December before local players went on strike over unpaid salaries.
While at Strabane, Mupariwa is expected to reunite with 20-year-old Bentley who captained Zimbabwe’s Under-19 team at the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Australia. Bentley — who is the younger brother to professional golfer Greg — is a top order batsman, but is also a quality off-spinner.
Meanwhile, Mupariwa is one of seven Zimbabwean players to put their names down for the Indian Premier League (IPL)’s player auction in Bangalore on February 13-14.
The other Zimbabwean players are national team captain Brendan Taylor, Elton Chigumbura, Tinashe Panyangara, Brian Vitori, Prosper Utseya and Hamilton Masakadza. They are part of the 233-strong auction list of capped players from 10 countries, which was finalised by the IPL last week and distributed to the eight franchises.