A quick bowler and a handy lower-order batsman, Blessing Mahwire is the first national player to come from the Masvingo area of Zimbabwe, where he turned in some impressive schoolboy performances, especially with the bat. He attended the CFX Academy in 2001 and was posted to Manicaland, where he developed more as a bowler than a batsman, although without losing his ability with the bat -- he has a Test fifty against New Zealand to his credit. He made his international debut against Pakistan at Harare in November 2002, but struggled to make an impact. However, a year later he was recalled for the 2003-04 tour of Australia and made the second Test at Sydney, but failed to take a wicket. Nevertheless, he impressed with his whole-hearted attitude and stayed in the side for the home West Indies series in November 2003. But in May 2004, his action came under scrutiny and he was reported to the ICC after the first Test against Sri Lanka at Harare. With assistance from Kevin Curran, he remodelled his action, becoming more side-on, and returned to the side against India and New Zealand in 2005, impressing with both bat and ball. He struggled in West Indies, though, bowling his away-swingers inconsistently. He also emerged as an unofficial spokesman for the players in their bitter dispute with the board.
John Ward June 2006