ZIMBABWE Under-19 cricket sensation Dane Schadendorf has become the latest local budding star to be snapped by an English team after being signed by county cricket side Nottinghamshire on a two-year contract.
The 18-year-old wicketkeeper batsman who was born in Harare, was one of the stars of the Zimbabwe youth side at the Under-19 World Cup held in South Africa early this year.
Schadendorf became an internet sensation in the warm-up matches ahead of the tournament, after his brilliant legside stumping against New Zealand that earned him comparisons with the Indian great MS Dhoni.
The former St John's College pupil also made 81 against eventual finalists India in a warm-up match though was less successful in the World Cup itself with 138 runs in nine innings.
After the impressive rise of Wesley Madhevere who was also part of the Zimbabwe Under-19 side in senior colours, Schadendorf was tipped to break into the Chevrons side in the near future.
However, as a British passport holder, he has opted to commit to the English game as a domestic cricketer which put his prospects of playing for Zimbabwe in the future in doubt.
Schadendorf follows his compatriot Nick Welch in signing a county contract.
Welch, a 22-year-old top-order batsman, gained British citizenship in September and signed up with Leicestershire on a long-term deal.
Nottinghamshire's director of cricket Mick Newel said of Schadendorf: "Dane has significant talent both with the bat and with the gloves."
"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 right-hander represented Caythorpe in last season's Nottinghamshire Premier League, as well as featuring in friendly matches for the county's Second XI. He said he was excited with his move to Nottinghamshire.
"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."