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Blessing Muzarabani set for Zimbabwe return after release by Northamptonshire

Blessing Muzarabani is in line to return to international cricket and could be considered for Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan later this month. Muzarabani, 24, has been unavailable since signing a Kolpak deal in 2018 but has now been released from his contract with Northamptonshire.

The 6ft 6in pace bowler made his Test debut in 2017 and had been capped in all three formats before electing to pursue a career in England. However, the UK’s impending exit from the European Union means that Kolpak status will scrapped for the 2021 season.

Muzarabani has reportedly been in talks with Zimbabwe Cricket about a comeback, having been added to the Takashinga squad to play in the National Premier League. ESPNcricinfo understands that he could be in contention for the Zimbabwe party due to play three ODIs and three T20Is in Pakistan, with an announcement expected soon.

Muzarabani took 17 wickets at 27.47 in seven first-class appearances for Northants, as well as a further seven in white-ball cricket, and had a year to run on his contract.

“Blessing has been a victim of the rule changes on Kolpak players,” David Ripley, Northamptonshire’s head coach, said. “It didn’t quite work out as we planned but he is young and will get other opportunities, I feel he will be a better cricketer for his two years with us.”

If he returns to the Zimbabwe set-up, Muzarabani could feature alongside a couple of other players who had Kolpak spells in county cricket, in Brendan Taylor, the former captain, and Kyle Jarvis.

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