Rising star nears Chevrons dream

Batsman Antum Naqvi has been making strides into the Chevrons.

SWASHBUCKLING batsman and spinner, Antum Naqvi’s road to becoming a Zimbabwean cricketer took a positive step last week as Zimbabwe Cricket dropped a hint accepting his proposal by including him in the Zim U25 squad against Uganda.

The 24-year-old has made his intentions to play for Zimbabwe public and he has backed that up with some top notch all-round display in the domestic franchise league where he is turning out for Midlands’ Rhinos.

Naqvi has played five First Class matches for Rhinos scoring three centuries, 140 not out being his highest score with a healthy average of 94.75. He also picked 18 wickets, a best match bowling performance of 4/22.

The Belgian-born Australia based cricketer has scored 487 runs in six List A games including three hundreds and a half ton averaging 97.40 with 146 being his highest score. In T20s, Naqvi averages 64.00.

“Well, it's early days to say anything but as I have said before, it would be an honour for me to represent Zimbabwe at international level,” Naqvi told The IndependentSport.

“I’m feeling good with my form, hoping to continue to pile on the runs and taking wickets with the ball.”

Naqvi draws his inspiration from his supportive father, Zubair Amir Naqvi and his love for Zimbabwe is deep-rooted as he has former Chevrons all-rounder, Solomon Mire as one of his role models.

My dad inspired me and he coached me from a young age. I loved watching Ricky Ponting and my favourite Zimbabwe player is Solomon Mire. He is part of our family,” he added.

“I have known and watched Solomon play cricket in Darwin since I was kid. He used to train in the same nets as us so that's how we got to know each other and the rest went from there. He became a great family friend and usually the conversations are just positive feedback about cricket games.”

Mire, 34, had stints in the Big Bash League for Melbourne Renegades and played two Tests for Zimbabwe, 47 One Day Internationals and nine T20s between November 2014 and July 2019.

He scored a hundred, 112 and three half centuries in ODIs as well as two T20I 50s after making headlines down under after relocating to Australia in 2012. In 2014, Mire smashed 260 runs from 157 balls for Waratahs in the Darwin and District Cricket Competition setting a new tournament record.

Naqvi’s road to becoming a Chevron would not have come at a better time given Zimbabwe’s top order struggles in Namibia where they lost their tournament opener against hosts in Windhoek on Wednesday.

Related Topics