Blessing Muzarabani is a Zimbabwean cricketer. He made his first-class debut for Rising Stars in the 2017–18 Logan Cup on 4 October 2017.
October 2, 1996
Blessing Muzarabani was born on 2 October 1996 in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is a right handed batsman and right arm fast medium bowler. Muzarabani left the UK with a year still left on his original Northamptonshire contract after Britain’s exit from the European Union, a development that rendered Kolpak players like the Zimbabwean paceman ineligible to stay on in the county championship due to changed rules under Brexit.
In December 2020, he was selected to play for the Southern Rocks in the 2020–21 Logan Cup. In October 2020 he was included in Takashinga Cricket Club’s squad for the National Premier League which took place end of 2020.
In December 2017, he was named in Zimbabwe's Test squad for their one-off Test against South Africa and made his Test debut for Zimbabwe against South Africa in the Boxing Day Test on 26 December 2017.
In January 2018, he was named in Zimbabwe's One Day International (ODI) squad for the tri-series in Bangladesh and made his ODI debut for Zimbabwe against Bangladesh on 15 January 2018.
In February 2018, he was named in Zimbabwe's Twenty20 International (T20I) squad for their series against Afghanistan in the UAE. He made his T20I debut for Zimbabwe against Afghanistan on 5 February 2018.
Following the conclusion of the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament, the International Cricket Council (ICC) named Muzarabani as the rising star of Zimbabwe's squad.
In August 2018, Muzarabani made himself unavailable for national selection for Zimbabwe, instead wishing to further his career in England. The following month, he signed a three-year deal with the English side Northamptonshire as a Kolpak player. Kolpak contracts like the one Muzarabani had 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 arrangement was to be changed when Kolpak registrations were set to be terminated at the end of the 2020 season due to Britain exiting the European Union.
He then returned to play for Zimbabwe after his time in County Cricket. On 3 November 2020, in the third match against Pakistan, Muzarabani took his first five-wicket haul in ODI cricket.
Super Over heroics against Pakistan
Muzarabani starred with the ball as Zimbabwe beat Pakistan in a Super-Over thriller on in 2020 to avoid a whitewash defeat in the three-match ODI series in Rawalpindi. The then 24-year-old right-armer, who was playing for Zimbabwe for the first time since putting his international career on hold in 2018 after striking a deal with Northamptonshire, bowled with admirable control and pace to take 5-49 in the regular match. Muzarabani then bagged two Super-Over wickets to guide the African tourists to victory with three balls to spare.
In the third and last ODI, Muzarabani accounted for Pakistan star batsman and captain Babar Azam, the hosts’ dangerman whom he had also dismissed in the first ODI which the Asians giants won by 26 runs. Muzarabani finished with nine wickets in the three ODI series, which Pakistan won 2-1, but his man-of-the-match performance in the last match particularly left his mentor in awe.