Charles Coventry (Zimbabwean cricketer)
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|Full name||Charles Kevin Coventry|
8 March 1983 |
|Bowling style||Right-arm leg break|
|Role||Batsman, occasional wicketkeeper|
|Test debut||13 September 2005 v India|
|Last Test||20 September 2005 v India|
|ODI debut||6 July 2003 v England|
|Last ODI||9 June 2010 v Sri Lanka|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: CricketArchive, 3 January 2013|
Charles Kevin Coventry (born 8 March 1983) is a Zimbabwean cricketer. He is a right-handed batsman and occasional wicket-keeper. Within Zimbabwe he is known as "Chappie" Coventry. He previously shared the record, with Saeed Anwar, of the highest individual score in a One Day International, 194 not out. This was surpassed by Sachin Tendulkar's 200 on 24 February 2010. His innings is the highest ODI score in a losing cause, surpassing Matthew Hayden's 181. He is one of only a select few sportsmen to wear prescription spectacles while playing sport, and one of only three sportsmen in the modern era to play Test cricket with spectacles, the others being New Zealand's Daniel Vettori and Australia's Chris Rogers.
Coventry was born on 8 March 1983 at Kwekwe, in Midlands in Zimbabwe. The son of Charles "Chuck" Coventry, who is one of the leading umpires in Zimbabwe, with international experience, he was born into a strong cricket family. His father introduced Charles to cricket from a young age, in their back garden and also the nets at the Bulawayo Athletic Club. Chuck has coaching experience and he gave Charles a strong grounding in technique and attitude.
Coventry began playing proper cricket in the third grade in Whitestone School, for whom he played two years in the colts team and two in the senior. His best performance was taking a hat-trick with his legbreaks. In his final two years he represented Matabeleland Primary Schools team, in the national Primary Schools Cricket Weeks, scoring a couple of fifties but not making it into the national age group side. He went to High School at Christian Brothers College, Bulawayo, and was selected for the national U14s side, progressing through the U16s and U19s as well. His best performance was 94 against the South African side Northerns. He played for CBC Senior team for two years, having scored a hundred against the strong St. Johns U16 side.
In Form One at CBC Coventry started playing club cricket for the Bulawayo Athletic Club, starting off in the Third XI but progressing quickly into the Firsts. BAC encouraged him to take up wicketkeeping, a role which he has undertaken for the Matabeleland Tuskers.
Coventry made his Logan Cup debut aged only 15. He had taken his gear along to a match his father was going to umpire "just in case" but due to a mix-up a Matabele player failed to arrive on time and Coventry was told he would be playing. He went in to bat at five, with Matabeleland on 66/3 chasing Mashonaland's total of 243. Coventry immediately got hit by Andy Blignaut, and was facing three other international bowlers in the shape of Eddo Brandes, Paul Strang and Everton Matambanadzo. He admitted to John Ward that the pacemen were far quicker than any he had faced before, but he stuck in, scoring 33, the third highest score of the innings, off 121 before being run out. Coventry paid credit to Guy Whittall for helping him through his innings, telling him to concentrate and revealing the strengths of the bowlers. Since his debut, Coventry has been a Matabele regular, opening the innings.
In 2002 Coventry applied to and was accepted by the CFX Academy, doing well there before returning to Matabeleland. At this time he also represented Zimbabwe at Under-19 level and played in eight Youth One Day Internationals during the 2001–02 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand.
When the rebellion struck in 2005 Coventry initially joined it but returned along with Gavin Ewing and Barney Rogers. He did not play for Zimbabwe in Bangladesh or South Africa, but continued good domestic form saw him picked as Zimbabwe A's wicketkeeper for the series against Pakistan A. Coventry did not play in either of the four-day "Tests", with first Neil Ferreira and then Brendan Taylor being preferred but he did play in the two "ODIs". In the first match he scored 6, as Zimbabwe lost, but in the second he produced a fine innings that catapulted him into national contention.
Zimbabwe, under the captaincy of Stuart Carlisle, had been put in to bat and fine spells from Najaf Shah and Mohammed Khalil had left Zimbabwe A reeling on 54/4. Coventry proceeded to launch an inspired counter-attack, first with Stuart Matsikenyeri, who scored a gritty 55 at the top of the order, in a partnership of 68, then Blessing Mahwire dug in with Coventry too, Mahwire scoring 41 in a hundred-run stand for the seventh wicket. Coventry finished on 102* off 143 balls. The innings proved to be the match-winning contribution as Pakistan A subsided to 181a/o, well short of Zimbabwe A's 232.
Coventry currently plays for Matabeleland Tuskers in the Zimbabwean domestic competition. So far his form has been disappointing in the Logan Cup, averaging only 23 despite five fifties, a top score of 90* and 1,063 career runs. In the One Day Competition he has a better record, with a hundred and 7 fifties, 916 career runs and an average of 30.
Charles Coventry played for United Services (Sports) Cricket Club in Portsmouth for the 2006 season. He contributed massively as batsman to the club. USCC compete for Southern Premier league division three. This is confirming by his club mate at USCC Muheed Jeeran, a Sri Lankan wrist spinner. Coventry good form in Twenty20 cricket continued when during the Stanbic Bank 20 Series he scored 67* of 40 balls to guide his team the Matabeleland Tuskers to third place when the beat the Southern Rocks by nine-wickets.
Good domestic form saw Coventry called up for the full national squad to tour England in 2003. He was thrown in as opener in a One Day International against England at Bristol, but struggled, scoring three off 10 balls and he was subsequently dropped for the Australia tour. He did not play again until 2005, when, after scoring a century against Pakistan A, Coventry returned to the side as a Supersub against New Zealand. In a match that Zimbabwe lost heavily, Coventry scored an entertaining 25. He subsequently played in the next three ODIs against New Zealand and India scoring 0, 35 and a fine 74 in the final match.
Later in the summer Coventry made his Test debut against India at Bulawayo, batting in the lower order with his customary aggression, and did better than many other Zimbabweans, scoring 2, 24, 27 and 35 in the two heavy Test defeats. To date Zimbabwe have not played any more Tests, having undertaken a self-imposed suspension from the Test arena.
In 2006 he played in a number of one day matches against Kenya and went on the tour to the West Indies, however, after a discipline issue he was sent home early. As a result he found himself out of the side again and he subsequently did not play at international level again until August 2009 when he returned to the Zimbabwean side to play a five match one-day series against Bangladesh.
On 16 August 2009 in the fourth One Day International against Bangladesh at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, Coventry scored 194 not out, his first century at international level. It also equalled the then-record score set by Saeed Anwar for the highest individual innings in a One Day International, now bettered by Virender Sehwag (219) West Indies tour of India, 4th ODI: India v West Indies at Indore, 8 Dec 2011 .
Centuries by Charles Coventry
One Day International Centuries
- In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
- The column title Match refers to the Match Number of the player's career
|||194*||36||Bangladesh||Bulawayo, Zimbabwe||Queens Sports Club||2009|
Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Year  194* 36 Bangladesh Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Queens Sports Club
- "Profile: Charles Coventry". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "Youth One Day International Matches Played by Charles Coventry". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "Profile: Charles Coventry". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- Charles, Coventry. "Coventry's good form continues with 60 of 40 balls to guide Tuskers to third place". Cricinfo. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- "Scorecard—7th ODI: England v Zimbabwe at Bristol, 6 July 2003". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "StatsGuru Search: CK Coventry One Day International All-round Records". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "Scorecard—1st Test: Zimbabwe v India at Bulawayo, 13–16 September 2005". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "Scorecard—2nd Test: Zimbabwe v India at Harare, 20–22 September 2005". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "One-Day International Matches Played by Charles Coventry". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "Scorecard—4th ODI: Zimbabwe v Bangladesh at Bulawayo, 16 August 2009". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- "Cricket Record: Zimbabwe—Highest Scores, One Day Internationals". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- "Most runs in a match on the losing side". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-08-17.