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?
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.
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?
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.