Harshal Panchal wih ball inhand | Credit: John Batanudde

Harshal Panchal might have surprised many by winning the MVP award for the men’s top-flight league last season. However, since he started playing for Avengers in the local league in 2019, Panchal has been no easy customer, especially with ball in hand.

He developed a reputation for being a nagging line and length bowler and took buckets of wickets every time he was on the pitch. This reputation caught the eye of national team coach Laurence Mahatlane who invited him to be part of the Uganda Select squad for the series against Kenya in the first edition of the Pearl of Africa Series in 2019. He might not have gotten a great welcome but he learnt that for him to excel at the international level he needs to put in some more work.

In 2022, there was something different from Harshal. He was not just about wickets only, this time his contributions with the bat for Avengers down the order most times dug them out of deep holes. He finished among the top 10 batters in the league with 201 runs from 8 innings, with two half-centuries to his name and had the most sixes (14) of any batter the whole season.

His improvement with the bat never made him forget his bowling skills. He finished the season with 15 scalps, 3 wickets behind the best bowler Yash Joshi with an economy of 3.93 from 8 matches.

Harshal Panchal bowling | Credit: John Batanudde

A very soft-spoken person, Harsh believes that his performance should catch more than just the eye of Laurence Mahatlane but it should translate into getting a permanent spot in the national team.

My inspiration last season was my Mum and Uncle Nirav Sewak who is the also the manager of Avengers. I want to make sure that I keep improving in all aspects of my game this year and hopefully I can finally get my chance in the Cricket Cranes yellow.

Harsha Panchal, 2022 Division 1 MVP

Harsha Panchal is looking forward to the 2023 season and this time he hopes he can win something with Avengers.

Denis has represented Uganda in international cricket events including the World Cup. He is currently the captain of Wanderers Cricket Club.

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