The newly introduced franchise of Lucknow in the Indian T20 League is looking to fill the holes in their squad before the 15th edition of the tournament begins. Notably, the team is left looking for a replacement after the English pacer Mark Wood pulled out of the Indian T20 League 2022 due to an elbow injury.
Yesterday news was out that Lucknow is set to sign the Bangladeshi speedster Taskin Ahmed as a replacement for Wood. But the deal fell through as Taskin has to fulfill his national responsibility over the Indian T20 League call. Bangladesh is currently in South Africa playing a three-match ODI series, which will be followed by a two-match test series.
If reports are to be believed Lucknow is now eyeing Zimbabwe star Blessing Muzarbani as a replacement for Mark Wood. However, Muzarbani’s role in the team is not yet confirmed. Whether Lucknow is looking at him as a full-time option or just as a net bowler is not clear. Notably, Muzarabani raised his stocks after decent performance in the PSL 2022 while playing Multan Sultans.
Zimbabwean players in the Indian T20 League are not a common thing. If the deal between Lucknow and Muzarbani falls in place, he will be the first contracted player from Zimbabwe in the Indian T20 League after 8 years. Brendan Taylor was the last player from Zimbabwe to feature in the tournament in 2015 for Hyderabad. Other players from Zimbabwe to have featured in the Indian T20 League are Raymond Price (for Mumbai) and Tatenda Taibu (for Kolkata).
Notably, players need NoCs from their respective boards to play in the Indian T20 League. Taskin Ahmed who was on Lucknow’s radar apparently did not receive the NoC from the Bangladesh Cricket Board because of the upcoming national assignments. This has led the franchise to look for other options as Wood’s replacement.