Zimbabwe national cricket team players Donald Tiripano and Ainsley Ndlovu have joined the growing number of cricketers flocking to the United Kingdom for club cricket this year.
Test All-rounder Tiripano was announced as the latest overseas acquisition by Sandford Cricket Club on Tuesday for their 2022 Devon Premier League campaign.
This came just hours after Ndlovu was also unveiled at Cannock Cricket Club ahead of their 2022 Staffs Club Championship campaign.
The duo is part of the Zimbabwe team currently in camp in preparation for the tour to Sri Lank next week.
Tiripano has emerged as one of Zimbabwean cricket’s stand-out all-rounders, with 68 caps across all formats.
Batting in the lower-middle order, Tiripano has produced highest scores of 95 (Test) and 55* (ODI), with the latter coming from only 26 balls against Bangladesh.
With the ball, he has career-best figures of 5-63, against Afghanistan, but arguably his highlight was defending three runs in the final over against the West Indies, taking three wickets in the process, to earn a heart-stopping tie in November 2016.
Since then, Tiripano has been in and out of the Zimbabwean side, despite his success for his country, and in domestic cricket, with whom he has skippered the Mountaineers in recent years.
He was Logan’s Cup’s best bowler and all-rounder in 2017/18, taking 30 wickets at 21.36 alongside his 678 runs at 75.33. He backed up with the bowling accolade the following season with a further 25 wickets at 15.24 (and 215 runs at 30.71).
Tiripano boasts the enviable record of 400 domestic wickets and when you factor in his 3,500 plus runs, you have one of the best all-rounders in Zimbabwean cricket.
Whilst he has excelled in red-ball cricket, his style of play is well suited to the shorter formats. An incredibly skilful bowler — he can swing and seam the ball in seamer-friendly conditions and is well-equipped with cutters and a homespun back-of-the-hand slower ball for non-conductive surfaces.
With the bat, he has evidenced his explosive power from the lower-middle order for both the Mountaineers and Zimbabwe.
Now an established international player, Tiripano is set to bring that experience to the UK in what will be his maiden UK club stint.
His compatriot teammate, Ndlovu, who broke into the Zimbabwean national set-up in June 2019, has been fighting hard for more caps with his left arm spin ever since.
Playing in a side flooded with international stars, including the likes of Craig Ervine, Brian Chari, Sean Williams, and John Nyumbu, to name but a few, Ndlovu has enjoyed plenty of success in domestic cricket with Tuskers.
He has taken 81 wickets at 31.12 in 28 first-class matches, since his Logan Cup debut in 2014/15. In 50-over cricket, he boasts a further 48 wickets at 28.60 in 43 List A matches.
Three other Zimbabwean cricketers, Jonathan Campbell and Tony Munyonga, and Tendai Chisoro were recently unveiled by clubs in the UK for the 2022 campaign.
Former Zimbabwe Under-19 wicketkeeper Tinashe Chimbambo was also signed by Compton and Chandlers Ford as player/coach for their 2022 Hampshire League campaign.