Zimbabwe-born Cartwright edges closer to Australia return

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Hilton Cartwright

Zimbabwe-born cricket star Hilton Cartwright is edging closer towards earning a recall to the Australia team.

The 30-year-old allrounder completed a remarkable season by winning a hat-trick of accolades at the Western Australia (WA) Cricket Awards in Perth last week.

A key member of WA double winning season after clinching both the Marsh One-Day Cup and the Marsh Sheffield Shield Cartwright not only won the major men’s gong, the Laurie Sawle Medal, for the first time since 2016-17 but also the Four-Day Player of the Year and the Excalibur award in a resurgent season for the Zimbabwe-born star.

His remarkable first class campaign was spiced up by two centuries including a match-winning knock against Victoria to qualify for the decider.

Cartwright took seven wickets at 16.7 including career-best figures of four for 23 against Tasmania.

Cartwright was also an important contributor to their Marsh One-Day Cup triumph topped off by one of the all-time great catches which turned the final in his team’s favour.

He finished on 82 votes, just ahead of speedster Jhye Richardson (77) and opener Cameron Bancroft (52).

Born in Harare on February 14, 1992, Cartwright spent most of his early childhood at his family’s farm in Marondera before they relocated to Australia after being forced to abandon their property during the chaotic land reform programme at the turn of the millennium.

He made his debut for Australia in an ODI match against Pakistan in January 2017, joining South African-born Kepler Wessels as the only other man born in Africa to pull on an Australian cap.

Wessels made his debut in 1982 and is the only man in 140 years of Test cricket to have played for two nations.

Cartwright however went on to represent his adopted nation in just one more ODI and two Tests later that season in what has been a short international career thus far.

Axed from the Australian setup at the end of the 2017-18 summer, Cartwright wasn’t even getting picked for his state by the start of the 2020-21 season but could be about to resurrect his international career after his exploits in the just ended season.

And he credits a mindset similar to reborn Australia Test star Usman Khawaja as being crucial to helping him resurrect his own stuttering career.

“I’ve taken a big leaf out of Usman Khawaja’s book the way he’s been going about it the last 12 to 24 months,” Cartwright said in an interview with ricket.com.au this week .

“Whatever is in his control he accepts that and whatever is out of his control, he also accepts that. Since I’ve been dropped from the Australian team and being dropped from the state team, I’ve had my goals to try and achieve.

“I didn’t think it would take as long as it has when I initially got dropped from the Australian team but it’s all part of the journey.”

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