The Sunday Mail
THERE was something tragic — and yet poetic — about Tarisai Musakanda’s presence during the just-ended first Test between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club last week.
The Asian nation is the team he made his Test and ODI debuts with back in 2017 (Colombo) and Bulawayo (2016).
As his compatriots began a new era of cricket for the nation, more so against a foe he is all too familiar with, Musakanda was forced to watch from the bleachers.
It was enough to prompt the top order batsman to rethink the choices he had made so far.
Musakanda is alleged to have recorded a 0.098 during a breathalyser test last month. He was, therefore, convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Now after being sacked by Australian Club New City for failing to report the DUI (driving under the influence) charge, Musakanda has the mammoth tasks of rebuilding his reputation and trying to get back into contention for selection.
Said the former New City top order batsman: “It was one Sunday afternoon and there was a Christmas party for the kids at my club,” said Musakanda.
“In socialising with people, I had a couple of drinks, three I think. When I was on my third drink, I received a call from Innocent Kaia (another Zimbabwe cricketer).
“We play in the same league and he stays close by. He invited me over to watch some cricket, and also to get something to eat.
“As soon as I finished that third drink I drove out. I also realised that I had to pick one of my friends (Romario). Unfortunately, l got pulled over on my way to his house,” said Musakanda.
The routine stop took a turn for the worse.
“I took a breath test and I was over the limit,” said Musakanda.
“We went to the station and I took the proper breath test. I was still over the limit.
“They said they couldn’t fine or hold me there, but they set a court date for me.
“On the set day — January 6 — I went to court and was found guilty. All I had to do was pay a fine, but the next day there was an article in the newspaper.
“The worst thing was that I hadn’t told my club about this incident, I thought I would just pay my fine and life would move on.
“But when the club found out, they were angry. Soon I was receiving phone calls from other clubs, they said I could come play for them,” he said.
But despite the offers, Musakanda had a lot on his mind and decided to retreat back home to freshen up.
“There was nothing from the Australian immigration, my visa is still valid, but I decided to return home a bit.
“Cricket is being played here, and playing obviously gets me back in contention for selection.
“So here I am, back home and raring to go,” he said.
But his return is not exactly what he had hoped for as Musakanda is currently nursing a broken heart after breaking up with his girlfriend.
“The break-up with my girlfriend was very tough. I do not have the right words to describe it, except to say it was unexpected. I am trying to pick up the pieces.
“However, I feel blessed and I am thankful to be back home and together with my supportive family,” he said.
The whole debacle has given the 25-year-old some time to reflect.
“This whole situation has got me thinking about the opportunities I got and never used, the decisions I have made.
“Talking to God is important. Prayer has helped me get clearer perspectives.
“The word ‘professional’ means a lot. Reflecting on this incident, I realise that I wasn’t very professional.
“But I don’t think I would have managed to stay in Australia, it’s better to be home with the people that understand me.
“While I still drink, what I drink and the quantities I drink have changed. Drinking and socialising goes well together. However when the time comes I will stop drinking altogether,” he said.