Eastbourne College pupil, Tawanda Muyeye, has been named Wisden Schools Cricketer of the Year 2019.
The 18-year-old batsman and off-spinner joins an esteemed list; since the award’s instigation in 2007, over half of the winners have graduated to first-class cricket, with some – like Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and James Taylor – going on to become established internationals.
“He is a player of immense presence, a batsman destined to empty bars,” reads Muyeye’s citation in the 2020 edition of Wisden Almanack.
“People in the know at Eastbourne have learned to ask when he will next be playing, so they can feast on his style, which shows the aggressive influence of Viv Richards and Kevin Pietersen, two of his idols.
“Rob Ferley, his coach at Eastbourne, says he is also the best off-spinner of his age group in the county, as well as an electric fielder with exceptional hand-eye co-ordination.”
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Zimbabwe-born, but with a desire to play for England, Muyeye is the first Eastbourne pupil to score two double-centuries, the second – against Brighton College in May last year – coming off only 135 balls.
“Tawanda Muyeye is the epitome of hard work, effort, humility and kindness,” said Eastbourne’s second master, Cris Symes.
“The qualities of endeavour have helped him in breaking two longstanding school records; the first pupil ever in 150 years of cricket to score two double hundreds, and the all-time run scoring record in one season.”
People in the know at Eastbourne have learned to ask when he will next be playing, so they can feast on his style – Wisden Almanack
Despite his obvious talent, Muyeye is also a pragmatist.
“Of course, I want to become a professional cricketer, but you can’t do that forever and my parents have always said that I need a back-up,” he told the Cricketer magazine
“I want to go to Loughborough University and get a degree. Hopefully, I can play lots of cricket while I’m there but after that we’ll see.
“I want to play for England, but I also want to play in the IPL and the Big Bash.”