Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ENGLISH County cricket side, Northamptonshire, have confirmed the departure of Blessing Muzarabani who is now set to gatecrash into the Zimbabwe squad for the upcoming limited-overs tour of Pakistan.
The club confirmed yesterday that Muzarabani, and two other players — Brett Hutton and Tom Sole — will leave following the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Muzarabani was on a three-year Kolpak contract.
However, his time at the County Ground came to a premature end after changes to regulations which meant the Zimbabwean was no longer eligible to play for Northamptonshire for the final year of his contract.
He has since returned home and has been enlisted by Takashinga for the National Premier League.
Northamptonshire head coach, David Ripley said, “Blessing has been a victim of the rule changes on Kolpak players.
“It didn’t quite work out as we planned but he is young and will get other opportunities, I feel he will be a better cricketer for his two years with us. “Everyone at Northamptonshire would like to thank Brett, Blessing, Rob and Tom for their efforts and commitment to the Club and wish them all the best for the future.”
The lanky pace bowler put his international cricket career on hold in August 2018 to take up a Kolpak contract.
Under the deal, Muzarabani could not represent Zimbabwe since he had to give up that right in terms of that arrangement.
The 24-year old had played one Test, 18 one-day internationals and six Twenty20 internationals for Zimbabwe.
He had also taken 27 wickets, across the formats, before leaving for England.
He was involved in negotiations with Zimbabwe Cricket, for the past week, to secure his return to international cricket.
ZC convener of selectors, David Mutendera, yesterday confirmed Muzarabani, who took a five-wicket haul for Takashinga on his return, was in line for the Pakistan tour.
Zimbabwe are set to leave for Pakistan on October 19 for three ODIs and three T20 Internationals, in a secure bio-bubble, to minimise the risks of contracting Covid-19.
The ODI series will be held in Multan on October 30, November 1 and 3.
The T20I series has been set for Rawalpindi on November 7, 8 and 10.
Zimbabwe, who have already selected a 25-member training squad, are set to intensify their preparations when they go into a bio-secure bubble in Harare on Monday.
They will first undergo tests for Covid-19 this weekend and only those who return negative results will check into a secluded wing, at a local hotel, before leaving the country on 19 October.