Who is Kwena Maphaka? Take a closer look at MI’s latest signing

On Wednesday, March 20, Mumbai Indians (MI) announced Kwena Maphaka as Dilshan Madushanka’s replacement for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Madushanka has been ruled out due to an injury sustained during an ODI against Bangladesh. The injury ruled him out of the whole tournament. The Mumbai-based franchise decided to bring in the 17-year-old South African pace sensation, Maphaka, as Madushanka’s replacement.

Maphaka’s inclusion in the MI squad is a dream come true for the young prodigy, who shot to fame at the recent U19 World Cup, where he was named Player of the Tournament for his exceptional tally of 21 wickets, the most ever by a pace bowler in a single edition of the prestigious event. His performances played a pivotal role in guiding South Africa to the semi-finals of the tournament on home soil.

The youngster is known for his pace and bounce which the whole world saw during the U19 World Cup. He can bowl up to 140 kph and can also bowl those pin-pointing yorkers during the death overs.

Kwena Maphaka was the Player of the Tournament in the U19 World Cup 2024

Despite being so young, Maphaka’s cricketing journey has been nothing short of remarkable. He made his debut for the South African U19 team at the age of 15 and has already represented South Africa A and the South Africa Emerging teams.

Joining the Mumbai Indians setup, Maphaka will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business, including the legendary Lasith Malinga, who serves as the team’s bowling coach, and the world-class bowler Jasprit Bumrah.

The left-hander is still studying in his final year of high school. Apart from cricket, Maphaka has also had success in tennis and hockey. He comes from St. Stithians which is the same school as South African bowler Kagiso Rabada.

MI has a knack for recruiting gems that go on to become international and IPL stars. The five-time champions with some new and young faces in the squad will be looking to add one more trophy to their closet.