Pommie Mbangwa

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Pommie Mbangwa
Personal information
Full name Mpumelelo Mbangwa
Born (1976-06-26) 26 June 1976 (age 41)
Plumtree, Zimbabwe
Nickname Pommie
Batting Right-hand bat
Bowling Right-arm fast-medium
Role Bowler
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 33) 24 October 1996 v Pakistan
Last Test 19 September 2000 v New Zealand
ODI debut (cap 48) 1 November 1996 v Pakistan
Last ODI 18 September 2002 v England
Domestic team information
Years Team
1996–2004 Matabeleland
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 15 29 62 64
Runs scored 34 34 324 88
Batting average 2.00 4.85 6.89 4.63
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0
Top score 8 11 31* 28
Balls bowled 2,596 1,369 8,627 2,871
Wickets 32 11 126 38
Bowling average 31.43 103.63 28.41 54.39
5 wickets in innings 0 0 2 0
10 wickets in match 0 0 1 0
Best bowling 3/23 2/24 6/14 3/29
Catches/stumpings 2/– 3/– 21/– 17/–
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 8 August 2015

Mpumelelo "Pommie" Mbangwa (born 26 June 1976, Plumtree, Rhodesia) is a former Zimbabwean cricketer. A right-arm fast bowler, he played 15 Tests and 29 One Day Internationals for Zimbabwe between 1996 and 2002. After being dropped from the international side after the 2002 Champions Trophy, he took up work as a cricket commentator for television, and he has remained in that line of work since.

His nickname "Pommie" arises from his pseudo-accent that he claims to have picked up during his brief studies in England. However, his formative school years were undertaken in Zimbabwe, a fact that his intonation and pronunciation of certain words and phrases betray.[1] His commentary style has often been called into question with his long-winded, pretentious questions, platitudes, and cliches.[2]

Given a qualification of twenty innings, Mbangwa has the lowest batting average (2.00) of all Test cricketers.[3] However, as of 2008, he is one of nine Zimbabweans to have taken 30 Test wickets, and of those only Heath Streak and David Brain took them at a lower average.

Mbangwa's rise to prominence was all the more remarkable as he had no family background in cricket. A little short of the top pace, he was primarily a line-and-length bowler, using both seam and swing, with the away-swinger his stock ball. He spent a year at school in England, and in 1996 he went to Madras for coaching by Dennis Lillee; on his return he was offered a place in the Plascon Academy in South Africa, which he attended from April to September 1996.

A surprise choice for the Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan in 1996-97, he made his Test debut after the first choice bowlers were injured but made the most of his opportunity, taking the vital wickets of Ijaz Ahmed and Wasim Akram. But thereafter he struggled to maintain consistency, and his lack of pace meant that he was easy picking for international batsmen. He drifted in and out of the side, before disappearing from the international scene. In 2001 he started television commentary, where his quiet thoughtful views were well received, and in 2005 he ended a brief foray into coaching by committing full-time to his TV career. He was one of international cricket's genuine No. 11s.

Credibility As a Commentator[edit]

Batting[edit]

Statistically, Mbangwa is the "worst batsman ever to play test cricket." [4] With a Test batting average of just 2.00 runs per innings at a strike rate of 17.61,[5] he ranks as the worst performing Test Batsman of all time.

Bowling[edit]

Like his batting, Mbangwa's bowling did not inspire statistical confidence either. With an ODI bowling average of 103.63,[6] Mbangwa is ranked as the worst performing ODI bowler of all time.[7]

Owing to his apparent lack of ability in playing the game, his credibility as an analyist has often been brought into question[8]


References[edit]