Comebacks can be anything from horrific to terrific, but Blessing Muzarabani’s was simply sensational.
For the Chevrons’ pace bowling arsenal this was a blessing comeback and the player’s impact was quick and profound.
It’s no surprise that EspnCricinfo has picked his five- for against Pakistan as the best performance in ODIs in 2020.
Blessing Muzarabani left Zimbabwe for a County stint in 2018 joining Northamptonshire. His move coincided with the country’s failed World Cup qualification bid.
For two seasons he was playing in one of the toughest leagues in cricket.
“It was not an easy decision to make and one I did not take lightly; I consulted a lot people, both family and friends, and a couple of cricket people whose opinions I hold dear.
“They all seemed to point me in the one direction,” said Muzarabani.
He suffered injuries, got into a rut but overcame to emerge a subtle and much improved bowler.
“I learnt a lot during my time in the county league, learnt how to be a professional, how to manage your body, remember I had a stress fracture, so I just learnt a lot things in general.”
Physically he gained too, from a lanky lad he developed into a man with a popping chest and biceps.
“It was a good season, in as far as debut seasons go, but there were a couple of challenges here and there,” said the then 22-year-old Muzarabani back in 2019.
“Adapting to the new environment was the biggest challenge, as there are always things you want to do all at once, but that is not really practical.
The Kolpak deals on which Muzarabani and many other overseas players were using to play as locals in the county league got revoked due to Brexit.
Muzarabani was “most welcome” back home.
He joined Zimbabwe on their tour of Pakistan, first one to that country in 17 years, and inspired the team to an ODI win with a five-for including winning the match in a super over.
It was his maiden five- wicket haul and it was this performance Espn Cricinfo deemed the best of 2020.
For Zimbabwe the win also earned them four important points in the cricket super league- a qualification pathway to the next ICC – Cricket World Cup in India in 2023.
Zimbabwe will be desperate for more of these match-winning performances, not only from Muzarabani, but everyone who dons the red jersey.
“It is going to take teamwork.
“Qualifying will be good for our country.”
He added: “I want to do well for my country.
“I want to win more games for Zimbabwe and I will try my best.”