Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Under-19 wicket-keeper/batsman Dane Schadendorf has landed his first professional contract after agreeing to a two-year contract with British County Cricket Club, Nottinghamshire.
The 18-year-old’s first professional deal will see him link-up with the Green and Golds for the next two seasons.
Schadendorf has made 10 appearances for the Zimbabwe Under-19s. However, as a British passport holder, he has opted to commit to the English game as a domestic cricketer. The right-hander represented Caythorpe in last season’s Nottinghamshire Premier League, as well as featuring in friendly matches for the county’s Second XI.
“As soon as I walked into Trent Bridge for the first time, I could imagine how special it must be to play with a full house in here,” he said.
“That first day in training with the lads was just an unreal experience.
“My game is probably more suited to white-ball cricket at the moment, but I’m working really hard on my red-ball game, and I think I’m getting better.
“My aims for the next year or so are just to get off to a good start here, score as many runs as I can, and try to stake my claim for a place in the first team.”
Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell was excited by the arrival of the Zimbabwean prodigy.
Schadendorf was part of the Zimbabwe team at the ICC Under-19 World Cup squad in South Africa earlier this year.
He featured in six matches, and earned widespread acclaim for a back-handed stumping in a warm-up fixture against New Zealand that preceded the tournament. He was also a non-travelling reserve for the 2018 World Cup held in New Zealand.
“Dane has significant talent both with the bat and with the gloves,” said Newell.
“We’re keen to work with those abilities and to help him achieve his potential. Hopefully he can play an important role for Notts long into the future.
“We believe there’s a high ceiling of potential there and – under the experienced guidance of the likes of Matt Wood, Anton Roux and Andy Pick – we hope to see him pushing for a place in our first team in the near future.”
The former St. Johns College student is the latest Zimbabwean prodigy to sign a county contract after former national Under-17 cricket opener, Nick Welch, also made his breakthrough with Leicestershire County Cricket Club this year.
Welch, who is back home for the first class Logan Cup competition with Mountaineers, has been based in England for the last five years before signing his first professional contract with the Foxes.
The right-hander made his first class debut with Eagles in 2014, as a 16-year-old. More county cricketers will be involved in the 2020 Logan Cup after Essex’s Shane Snater and Ben Curran of Northamptonshire were unveiled by Southern Rocks, who are returning to the competition this year after a six-year hiatus.
Ex-Zimbabwe Under-17 players Brad Evans and Briton Oskar Kolk, who have both been involved in county cricket with Cardiff MCCU, have been included in the Eagles squad.