A batting allrounder from Harare, Butterworth made his first-class debut in 2000-01, when he was one of the leading students at the CFX Academy and the only one to score a century in the Logan Cup that season. An aggressive middle-order batsman, he is particularly strong through the covers and on the pull.
It was a long wait, but almost 10 years after his first-class debut Ryan Butterworth was finally called up to Zimbabwe's senior squad for their tour to Bangladesh in 2010-11. His call-up was a reward for outstanding form in the domestic Stanbic Bank 20 Series, in which he scored 165 runs at an average of 82.50 and an eye-catching strike-rate of 181.31. Butterworth also showed his allround value in the tournament with six wickets at an economy rate of under a-run-a-ball.