Kevin Kasuza: Two concussions and not out

21 May, 2020 - 11:05 0 Views
Kevin Kasuza: Two concussions and not out In control . . . Kevin Kasuza sweeps during his innings

The Sunday Mail

Kevin Kasuza’s Test debut against Sri Lanka in January 2020 was eventful. From scoring a fine half century, to becoming Zimbabwe’s first player to be substituted due to concussion after he was hit on the helmet fielding at short-leg, Kasuza has endured a rollercoaster of emotions. Concussion ruled him out of the first Test’s second innings, but the 26-year-old was declared fit for the second Test.
He suffered a concussion again!

Read on as The Sunday Mail Online’s Brighton Zhawi chats to Kasuza who yearns to meet his idol, New Zealand legend Ross Taylor.

BZ: How have you been spending time during the lockdown?

KK: Most of the time indoors and doing a bit of fitness, not a lot bro.

BZ: Have you learned new things . . . maybe cooking?

KK: Hmmm, not cooking as such, but things like doing the garden and cleaning the house because most of the time I wasn’t there because of cricket.

BZ: What have you been reflecting on during this lockdown? Looking back at your life and cricket career, what are some of the things you have realised?

Zimbabwe physiotherapist Anesu Mupotaringa escorts Kevin Kasuza off the field after concussion tests

KK: I realised that life is so much important than anything. As for me, I had just started playing for the national team so it’s a bit disappointing because I really wanted that momentum to play more games for Zimbabwe.

BZ: Have you moved on from the two concussion incidents?

KK: I am now very fine, I have moved on. It’s just people have different opinions about it, some say you slept on duty, some say it’s bad spirit, but what I know is the short-leg position is so close and anything can happen.

BZ: When you got hit the first time, what thoughts came to your mind?

KK: I have been fielding at that position since I started playing first class and almost every game I got hit, but not serious injuries, so I thought it was one of those, it went viral because it was a bigger stage  with cameras and stuff like that.

BZ: And when you returned in the second Test, you got hit again. How was that now?

KK: I think the first injury was more painful than the second one, it’s just that I got hit on the same position so you know how head injuries can do these days. But it got me thinking about my career a bit.

Once again . . . Kasuza walks off the field after being hit on the head

BZ: Fear or changing of fielding position?

KK: To be honest, I’m now scared to go there, so I think changing field position is a better option.

BZ: Strangely, it was the same bowler Raza and batsman Kusal Mendis involved in both incidents. Did the two say anything to you after you got hit?

KK: Yes, almost everyone checked on me everyday and I received plenty of nice messages from my team mates.

BZ: Heard Mendis actually visited you in the medical room?

KK: He did and every morning he came to our changing room checking on me even in my hotel room he came.

BZ: After the few (three) Tests you have played, what’s your take on playing at this level?

KK: Playing international cricket is not easy, it needs a lot of things like fitness, mentally and physically, high-level skill, patience and focus.
BZ: Do you think waiting for many seasons for your international opportunity helped you reach that level of skill considering a good start you have made in your career so far?

Kasuza acknowledging the crowd after reaching a maiden Test 50

KK: Yes, it helped a lot, I think it was a blessing in disguise (laughs).

BZ: Do you see yourself as a Test player only or an all formats batsmen?
KK: The truth is, I thought I would play ODIs or T20 first but, I was surprised that I played Test cricket. My wish is to play all formats of the game.

BZ: Test cricket is tough like you said. How about being a Test opening batsman?

KK: I have been an opener all my life so it’s tough, but I always enjoy the challenge. I believe to be the best you have to compete with the best at the highest level.

BZ: You are already showing good chemistry with fellow opener Prince Masvaure. What do you attribute that to?

KK: Prince is a good partner, he helps me with ideas at practice or in the game, so much respect I have for him.

BZ: Getting a 50 on Test debut must have been very emotional for you?

KK: You know my (late) dad always wanted me to play for the national team, my wish was that he be there. That 50 was for him, guess he is a proud man where ever he is.

BZ: I guess now you also playing for your mom, wife and baby?
KK: Obviously bro, my wife always prays for me before I play, even if I’m away she calls in the morning. My mom, my daughter I play for them and not forgetting everyone who believes in me, my friends, my fans and my country.

BZ: Sport is slowly returning as lockdowns are eased. What’s the thing you miss the most about playing cricket?

KK: I can’t wait to get back into action, to some of us cricket is our life – getting paid to do what you love, meeting new people, knowing new things.

BZ: Which cricketer have you been chatting to the most during the lockdown?
KK: Tendai Chatara is my close friend, my brother, my top buddy.

BZ: In domestic cricket, which bowler gives you challenges?

KK: Carl Mumba is becoming a problem (laughs), with his pace and swing.
BZ: I have heard guys calling you “Bravo” others “Ross Taylor”. Who are you?

KK: They say I look like Darren Bravo, the cricketer from West Indies but I like playing like Ross Taylor.

BZ: Am sure you would love to meet both of them?

KK: Definitely, especially Ross Taylor.

BZ: Some also call you Mazoe? How is that?

KK: (laughs) That one, it’s because I like Mazoe Orange Crush a lot.

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