Blessing Muzarabani Poised For Zim Cricket Comeback

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By Sports Reporter

ENGLAND-BASED Zimbabwe cricket star Blessing Muzarabani is earmarked to make a stunning return to the Chevrons squad ahead of the upcoming tour to Pakistan, two years after putting his international cricket career on hold in favour of a move to county cricket side Northamptonshire.

The 24 year-old tall fast bowler quit the international cricket scene in August 2018 to take up a Kolpak contract with English county side, Northamptonshire.

Kolpak contracts like the one Muzarabani has with Northamptonshire are named after Slovak handball player Marius Kolpak, who won a landmark case at the European Court of Justice in 2003.

They allow sportsmen from countries with associate trade agreements with the EU, such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Caribbean nations, to be afforded the same right to free movement as EU citizens.

This meant Muzarabani could not represent his country while pursuing his county cricket career but that could soon change with Kolpak registrations set to be terminated at the end of the 2020 season due to Britain exiting the European Union.

Muzarabani is currently the only Zimbabwean playing county cricket on such a deal, while Brendan Taylor and Kyle Jarvis had stints in county cricket on Kolpak contracts for Nottinghamshire and Lancashire respectively before returning to play for the Chevrons.

Muzarabani’s Kolpak deal is set to be nullified with Britain exiting the European Union paving way for his return to the Zimbabwe side and sources told that the fast bowler has agreed a new contract with the local cricket governing body.

The Northamptonshire bowler was on Saturday included in Takashinga’s squad for the National Premier League, which got underway on Sunday.

He is expected to travel to Zimbabwe to join the rest of the team in camp for the trip to Pakistan after the conclusion of the England domestic cricket season.

Muzarabani recently revealed his desire to revive his international cricket with Zimbabwe if the opportunity arises.

“I love Zimbabwe very much, it’s my country and I would be happy to come back and represent my country. If the Kolpak deals are nullified, I would be eligible to represent Zimbabwe again,” he said.

Muzarabani had played one Test, 18 one-day internationals and six Twenty20 internationals for Zimbabwe, taking 27 wickets across the formats, before he put his international career on hold to join Northamptonshire.