Blessing Muzarabani has been drafted by the Multan Sultans for the resumption of the 2021 Pakistan Super League.
Muzarabani has replaced West Indian fast bowler Obed McCoy in the Sultans squad. This will be the tall Zimbabwean’s first stint in the PSL, which is among the leading domestic T20 tournaments around the world.
The PSL is popular enough to attract interest from Australian stars vast and varied, who are otherwise preoccupied by participation in the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League.
Aussies such as Chris Lynn, Ben Dunk, James Faulkner and Callum Ferguson, Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns and more have been associated with the 2021 tournament or past editions.
While the Sultans have since lost Lynn, the presence of Muzarabani can boost their push for a maiden title. Some of the best betting sites for the PSL like Unibet, which are a popular choice in South Africa, and highly rated in markets like Australia – as seen in this Unibet Australia review and many more, have Multan priced at 13/2 to win the final. Islamabad United, who have drafted Australian batsman Usman Khawaja, are offered at 7.2 in the same market.
The remainder of this year’s PSL will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Muzarabani has Test and T20I experience at this United Arab Emirates venue. He has also played a clutch of ODIs in Sharjah, which sports relatively similar conditions to Abu Dhabi.
Muzarabani’s global experience grows
His time with Northamptonshire in English county cricket, too, should help Muzarabani adapt to the gulf pitches well enough to add value to a Sultans seam attack that also includes the vastly experienced Sohail Tanvir.
“Playing in England really helped me use my variations. We play a lot, week in week out, and you pick up the moments where you need to throw in a yorker or a slower ball or something like that,” Muzarabani told the Cricket Monthly earlier this year.
He should also benefit from playing alongside West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder. They were team-mates at Northamptonshire.
“Blessing possesses a lot of skill. I just know his path, and how he gave up his international status to go and play county cricket to better himself,” added Holder.
“The most striking thing for me was, he really wanted to improve his cricket, so I felt it was necessary to give him my best, and as much information as I really could. We got really close, and we went out for food a few times. I think he needed that support system around him.
“What I always told him was that he needed to stay upright and use the height a little more, because I have similar problems, where you sometimes tend to collapse your front knee. Some of the bowlers have that braced front leg, and I found that a lot of them get injured because it puts a lot of strain on the body in the follow-through. But people believe that that’s the most explosive way to get your power and speed through the crease.”
History of Zimbabweans in the PSL and IPL
The 24-year-old Muzarabani won’t be the first Zimbawean to play in the PSL. Former captain Brendan Taylor has played for the Multan Sultans. Batsman Sikandar Raza was with Peshawar Zalmi.
Zimbabwean quintet Cephas Zhuwao, Neville Madziva, Tendai Chisoro, Sean Williams and Wesley Madhevere entered the draft for the 2021 PSL, but ultimately were not selected.
Taylor is also a name synonymous with Zimbabweans in the IPL. He spent time in the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad. Other Zimbabweans, including spinner Ray Price and wicketkeeper-batsman Tatenda Taibu, represented the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, respectively, in the IPL. Former all-rounder Heath Streak was also in the IPL.
The IPL 2021, too, is scheduled to restart later this year – also in the UAE, but perhaps not just in Abu Dhabi, but Dubai as well.