BY Kevin Mapasure

Former Zimbabwe national cricket team batsman Forster Mutizwa has ended his playing career to venture into umpiring.

Mutizwa (34) played a single Test for Zimbabwe despite having good first class figures when he won 17 caps in the 50 over format of the game.

His coach at Mountaineers Shepherd Makunura confirmed that Mutizwa could not be part of his team this season.

“Foster has quit playing and is going into umpiring. He has been a long serving and loyal servant of Mountaineers and his departure is a big loss,” Makunura said.

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“While he opens up a place for younger players to fill in, we will miss his experience and expertise. When we won three Logan Cup titles in a row, he was instrumental with the bat as well as his experience on the field. I am glad that he is not walking away from the game as he moves into umpiring and its good for the game. It’s something that we needed to have in Zimbabwe.

Players have not been keen on taking up umpiring after they finish playing. I think as an umpire he will be successful considering the level of cricket he has played over the years.”

The wicket-keeper batsman first class average is 39.9, but national team call ups for Test cricket always eluded him playing just one match against New Zealand in 2012.

He scored 13 centuries in first class cricket and 17 half tones with a total of 4 389 runs at that level.

For the national team he enjoyed more caps in one-day cricket after making his debut against Kenya in 2009.

His highest one-day score was 79 and he scored a total of 403 runs at an average of 31.