Bulawayo– WITH humble beginnings, playing cricket with a tennis ball and a wooden plank with his friends on the dusty streets of Mpopoma, it is a dream come true for Ainsley Ndlovu to play for the national cricket team. He plays together with the country’s best crop of players at the moment.
The left arm spin bowler and lower order batsman revealed to the Tenacity Post that he started playing the game of esteem, at a tender age of six, ekasi, before taking his passion to the next level when he joined the cricket team while he was in Grade 3.
“I started playing cricket at an early age. I was 6. Then from grade 3 started training at school, at Gampu Primary and l took it seriously.”
“I continued playing cricket till I went for secondary school at Mpopoma High school, where l learnt for half a year, before getting a scholarship to South Africa where l finished off my High School career,” Ndlovu said.
In South Africa, he played in Kwazulu Natal colours, for the U-15 category up to the U-19.
The Matabeleland Tuskers and Emakhandeni cricket club all-rounder went on to reveal that ever since he started playing cricket, his ultimate goal has been to represent the country at the pinnacle of his career.
His chance to represent the nation would come in 2018, though to his disappointment, he never played on his first call-up.
“Was first called up for the national team for the UAE tour but never played,” he said.
He would then play in national colours this year, when he was called for the European tour.
“I was then called for the Europe tour, where we did battle with Ireland and Netherlands, that’s when I made my debut.”
Ndlovu said after the national team call up, he had a feeling of satisfaction as one of his dreams had been realised.
“There was a feeling of satisfaction a little bit but at the same time l still felt l had to keep on working hard and trying to improve my game with every day that goes by,” said a seemingly elated Ndlovu.
Ndlovu went on to add that he still fancies to up his game, and represent the country in all the three cricket formats, that is, test cricket, ODI (One Day Internationals) and T20 and also play at bigger cricket leagues in the continent.
Currently, Ndlovu has played in the country’s local leagues, and has only represented the country in the ODI.
“In the future, it will be nice if I manage get opportunities to play in bigger leagues and also to present my country in all the three cricket formats,” he said.
In his cricket career, his current highlight is winning the 50 over championship in 2017.
“It had been a tough year for me coming back from the academy, and that was the year when doors started opening up for me.”