HARARE - Former Australia Test paceman Jason Gillespie says hard-hitting Zimbabwean batsman Solomon Mire is a player to watch at the forthcoming Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The 25-year-old all-rounder, who plays domestic cricket in Australia for Waratahs and NT Strike, was included in Zimbabwe’s 15-man World Cup squad following his impressive debut in international cricket during the tour of Bangladesh late last year. Despite the forgettable series, in which the Zimbabweans lost all three Tests and five ODIs, Kwekwe-born Mire hit two half-centuries in five one-day matches and also showed great promise with his medium pace bowling.
And now Gillespie — who coached Mire at Zimbabwe first-class franchise Midwest Rhinos — labelled the all-rounder as a player to watch in the World Cup.
“(He’s) a big-hitting batting all-rounder who I coached in my first year at Midwest Rhinos, (he’s a) great kid,” Gillespie recently told Australia’s ntnews.
“He’s a strong lad, can give the ball a real thump, bowls medium-fast and is a gun fielder. Zimbabwe will probably struggle in the World Cup but he might just be a bright spark for them.”
On Monday, Mire continued with his impressive start to his Zimbabwe career with a quick-silver half-century against New Zealand domestic side Northern Districts XI as the African side won their first warm-up match by 22 runs ahead of the World Cup.
The right-hander was in belligerent mood in Gisborne, New Zealand, smashing 68 runs off just 32 balls at Harry Barker Reserve batting at number eight in a game reduced to 35 overs due to persistent rains.
Zimbabwe, who will be under new coach Dav Whatmore for the first time, will play their first match against South Africa in Hamilton on February 15.