Zimbabwe has seen its highs and lows in Cricket. From losing its players due to issues with the board to less pay and less investment into the domestic circuit, Zimbabwe cricket has came a long way. While Zimbabwe players have shown potential, from the time of Heath Streak to Andy Flower to modern day legends like Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza; they have got very less opportunity to show how talented these players are.
Indian Premiere League is certainly a platform where players from all walk of life and situation, if talented have been given opportunities with huge pay. 4 of Zimbabwe players have represented different teams in IPL by now, let us see who they all are.
Tatenda Taibu (Kolkata Knight Riders)
- He was the first player from Zimbabwe to be signed at Indian Premiere League. He represented Kolkata Knight Riders in the 1st edition of the IPL.
- Taibu is considered to be one of the finest cricketers to have played for Zimbabwe. He had played U-19 World Cup for Zimbabwe in 2002 in New Zealand and even won the Man of the Tournament award.
- He became the youngest Test captain in world cricket when he was appointed to lead Zimbabwe at the age of 20 years 358 days in 2004. Rashid Khan recently toppled that record in 2019 by a margin of 8 days when he became the captain of Afghanistan.
- In July 2012 Taibu, aged only 29, decided to retire from cricket to focus on his work in the Church.
Ray Price (Mumbai Indians)
- Ray Price featured in the 2011 edition of the IPL as a replacement for injured Australian allrounder Moises Henriques, who did not travel to India after having surgery in March for an adductor muscle injury.
- Price had built a reputation as a canny and bellicose limited-overs bowler and has risen to second place in the ICC’s ODI bowler rankings after his performance at the World Cup 2011.
Brendan Taylor (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
- Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor bagged his maiden IPL contract in 2014, when SRH bid ₹30 lakh for him in the 2014 IPL edition.
- He did not play any match for SRH though in the whole season.
- In October 2020, in the first ODI against Pakistan, Taylor scored his 17th century in international cricket to become the batsman with the most centuries for Zimbabwe across all three formats.
Blessing Muzarabani (Lucknow Super Giants)
- Pacer Blessing Muzarabani is set to be the only Zimbabwean to participate in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 15).
- The right-arm pacer will be joining the Lucknow Super Giants camp either as a net bowler or a replacement of Mark Wood who pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons.
- Wood was signed for Rs 7.5 crore at the IPL mega auction by LSG earlier this year (2022)
Some of the notable players in the past who have played for Zimbabwe are Andy Flower, Heath Streak, Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura, etc. What Zimbabwe needs is a bit of push, we are sure they can do wonders in the future. They should step-up their game and play in international leagues and even country cricket in England and Australia for better exposure.
Zimbabwe Cricket has seen its ups and down. They have done exceptionally well till the early 2000s but since have declined. Cricketers in Zimbabwe have suffered from less opportunities and low pay scale. The International Cricket Council (ICC) should come forward and help the development of these associate nations. It will be very interesting to see how cricket would be shaped in the coming years.