Muyeye described as one of Kent’s leading lights of 2023 season

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Kent head coach Matt Walker has praised rising Zimbabwean batsman Tawanda Muyeye, describing him as one of the leading lights at the English County cricket outfit last year.

Muyeye was named Kent’s emerging player-of-the-year at October’s end-of-season awards after he hit his maiden first-class century at Northamptonshire in June.

The Harare-born star, who has been tipped for an international career with England, joined Kent after being named 2020 Wisden Schools Cricketer of the Year.

The former Eastbourne College sports scholar, now 22, broke into Kent’s team after racking up a glut of runs for the county’s second team.

Walker, who recently turned 50 said Muyeye’s emergence has been one of the major highlights for him.

“The emergence of Tawanda has been a real highlight for me,” said in an interview with Kent Online.

“He has had a taste of it since he’s joined the club and, sometimes, a little bit by default, he has played because of injury or what have you.”

Tawanda Muyeye

Walker also revealed how he first heard of Muyeye’s exploits while he was still a schoolboy at Eastbourne College following his move from Peterhouse College in his native Zimbabwe.

“We, obviously, know the talent he has. That’s why we signed him,” he said.

“He’s a Zimbabwean refugee. His mum and sister were already in the country so he came over and went to school at Eastbourne College.

“A player that I played with here – and who also played for Nottinghamshire – Rob Ferley, at Eastbourne College, rang me up and said ‘You really need to look at this kid’.

“He was with Sussex a bit, hence the link with Eastbourne. There were a lot of complications around his visa and trying to keep him in the country was a big step and a lot of work to do.

“But we got him here and really wanted to sign him. Nottinghamshire were interested, as were Sussex, but Tawanda decided to come to us.”

It has taken Muyeye time to find his feet but he’s now making big progress in England.

He was picked up by champions Oval Invincibles – coached by Walker and skippered by Kent team-mate Billings – for the 2023 tournament.

Kent head coach Matt Walker

Walker said: “It didn’t really work out for him in the first couple of years. For some, that might have been a surprise – not necessarily for me.

“You see it a lot where these talented players at schoolboy level don’t always make the switch as quick as some. He hadn’t really played any long-format. He has been brought up on white-ball cricket.

“It’s taken a bit longer. But this year, he started in the second team and scored four hundreds and started to understand his game more.

“He earned the right to get in the side through his runs in the second team and, when he did come into the side, he was ready.

“To see him at the top of the order and developing – he’s still raw and still learning how to bat in different situations – but he’s shown some real class, especially in the T20s.

“He’s a really exciting player. Tawanda was picked up in The Hundred on the basis of what he did in the T20s.

“He’s been great.”

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