Muzarabani off to IPL

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Zimbabwe's Blessing Muzarabani celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Pathum Nissanka (not pictured) during the second one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on January 18, 2022. (Photo by Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

BY Kevin Mapasure
Zimbabwe national cricket team seam bowler Blessing Muzarabani is set to leave the country this evening for India where he will join the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Lucknow Super Giants (LSG).

Having initially missed out following the auction last month, a window of opportunity opened up following Englishjman Mark Wood’s withdrawal from this year’s edition of the richly rewarding tournament.

Muzarabani yesterday met with the Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe and is expected to fly out this morning after he was issued with his no objection certificate (NoC) by Zimbabwe Cricket.

He got the call from LSG on Sunday after Indian papers had touted him as one of possible replacements for Wood.

The official Twitter handle of Indian Ambassador in Zimbabwe confirmed the news of the pace bowler leaving for India for the cash-rich league.

“Ambassador met with Blessing Muzarabani, the Zimbabwean bowler, as he prepared to leave for #IPL2022. Ambassador wished him & his team #LucknowSuperGiants the very best,” the tweet read.

According to Crictraker LSG earlier had approached Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed to replace Wood in their line-up. But the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) didn’t allow Taskin given that the team’s South Africa tour is currently in progress.

He is part of the ongoing ODI series and will play in the Test series against the Proteas as well. Moreover, with the home series against India coming up, the BCB didn’t give him the NoC for the IPL 2022.