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Zimbabwe quick Blessing Muzarabani signs for Northamptonshire

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Blessing Muzarabani, the Zimbabwe fast bowler who last month quit international duty to pursue opportunities in England, has signed a three-year contract with Northamptonshire.

With uncertainty surrounding the financial situation at Zimbabwe Cricket, Muzarabani has chosen the stability of a Kolpak deal in county cricket, following the likes of Kyle Jarvis, Brendan Taylor and Sean Ervine, over the years, in giving up representing their county – although he could still reverse his decision further down the line.

“I’ve come here to chase my dreams,” Muzarabani said. “I want to perform and achieve. I just can’t wait to get started.”

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Muzarabani, 21, has played all three formats for Zimbabwe, taking 18 wickets at 40.72 in ODIs and nine at 24.44 in T20Is. He played for Northants 2nd XI in May, taking 4 for 40 against Durham, and will strengthen the club’s bowling, with South Africa international Rory Kleinveldt not returning in 2019 after four seasons at the club.

The 6ft 6in Muzarabani was part of the 2017 intake of Tatenda Taibu’s England-based academy, aimed at developing Zimbabwe’s player pool. He made his international debut in the four-day Test against South Africa in December and quickly made a good impression, before deciding to take his career in a different direction.

“We’ve been talking to Blessing for quite some time and were impressed by the way he plays,” Northamptonshire’s head coach, David Ripley, said. “He’s got a lot to learn and he knows it, but we’re looking forward to helping him achieve his potential at the County Ground over the next few years.”

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