The Sunday Mail
TAURAI “ZHAIK” MUZARABANI has called time on a decade-long First Class cricket career in Zimbabwe following a bust-up between the 31-year-old seamer and his franchise Mashonaland Eagles.
However, the player says he “may” play club cricket in the United Kingdom.
“I feel disrespected by the new management at Mash Eagles,” said Muzarabani.
The new domestic season saw the Harare-based franchise ring a few changes, with former Zimbabwe internationals Stuart Matsikenyeri and Blessing Mahwire appointed head coach and general manager respectively.
“Sometimes it doesn’t mean if you have played international cricket; you can be a good manager or coach,” said Muzarabani who wasn’t offered a contract by Mash Eagles.
“You got to respect other people, but it seems these guys came with their big egos.
“I played with them and felt they knew what I brought to the table. This is the main reason why I decided to retire. You need to be happy to play cricket and I wasn’t happy with what was happening, especially in the last two years of my career.
“Losing out on a national contract whilst I was with the team for almost a year-and-a-half, getting injured on national duty then using my own money to get back to fitness. All these things contributed to my retirement.”
Born March 23, 1987, Muzarabani appeared to be on the quick path to success when he was spotted net bowling by then Zimbabwe head coach Dave Whatmore in 2015. Muzarabani was handed his international debut that same year, when the Chevrons hosted Ireland and India in ODI and Twenty20 games.
He would go on to play eight ODIs and nine T20s, scoring 12 runs and taking 13 wickets in both formats.
His last appearance in Chevron colours came in a T20 against India in June 2016 – a series he fondly remembers for Zimbabwe’s two-run win.
“I am proud because I had to fight from day one, losing out on a scholarship to go to Churchill (High School). My granny had to come in and look for funds for me to learn at Churchill. I was then selected to go to the Under-19 World Cup in 2006. I missed out to make my debut in 2008 in Canada because of a shoulder injury, but had to come back through Dav Whatmore as a net bowler,” he said. Muzarabani has a First Class hat-trick which coincided with his first five-wicket haul against Tuskers at Harare Sports Club in 2015.
“It was a good feeling and one of the special memories I have playing First Class cricket. We won three trophies in one season at Eagles, under Stanley Timoni, and you have got to respect the man; he was a genius.” They say ‘once a cricketer always a cricketer’hence Muzarabani said there is a possibility of him playing club cricket in the UK.“I will still play cricket overseas, but when I come home I will be focusing more on my businesses.
He added that his cricket and off-field life have been inspired by his two children, whose names are tattooed on his arm. “Liam and Lael, mean a lot to me that is why i made that decision to find ways to better their lives.”
How he got into cricket is one of those quirky childhood stories.
“I started playing cricket at 11 at Chengu Primary School under Isaiah Makiyi. Biscuits which were given for tea made me fall in love with the game.
“We would spend the whole day playing cricket in the streets of Highfield with my best friend Timcyen Maruma; that’s when we mastered the game. We had a dream of playing for Zimbabwe. The fact that we did (both play for Zimbabwe) means my career has been a success.”
Muzarabani has best wishes for his cousin, Blessing who also quit the game for county cricket this year.
“He is a fighter and I think he made the right decision for his career, and I wish him the best in county cricket,” he said.Meanwhile, Mash Eagles open their pro 50 Championship against Matabeleland Tuskers at Harare Sports Club today