Sikandar Raza joins Northamptonshire for 2024 Vitality Blast


HARARE – Zimbabwean all-rounder and T20I national team captain, Sikandar Raza, has signed with Northamptonshire for the 2024 Vitality Blast campaign. 

Sikandar Raza signs with Northamptonshire, 2024 Vitality Blast
Image: Zimbabwe Cricket

The Vitality Blast is a professional Twenty20 cricket competition for English and Welsh first-class counties, that was established by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2003. 

This year's competition is set to commence on May 30 and conclude on September 14.

Raza, who is currently on tour in Sri Lanka on national duty, is expected to bring his seasoned experience to the County Ground. 

Zimbabwe's failure to qualify for this year's edition of the ICC Men's T20I World Cup, being held in the USA and Caribbean in June, means that Raza will be available for all 14 Blast North Group fixtures.

Raza expressed his delight at joining Northamptonshire, stating, "I’m delighted to be coming to Northamptonshire. This will be a different challenge for me but I’ve loved playing cricket in England in the past.

"It's always been a wish to play in the Vitality Blast so I’m looking forward to fulfilling that. I would like to entertain the fans and put a smile on their face with as many wins as possible."

He said that the first task upon joining the new side is set on securing a quarter-final spot, and to build on that momentum and belief into the latter stages and hopefully lift the trophy.

"Looking at the side we have a decent squad and a lot of good players, I’m looking forward to using my experience to help us win as many games as possible and help the younger players as well," Raza said. 

The 37-year-old all-rounder, currently ranked as the fifth-best in T20I cricket, recently became the first player in the format's history to score five consecutive half-centuries. He has been nominated as the ICC Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year.

Raza, who has played in 80 T20 internationals and more than 200 T20 matches for various teams across the globe, including appearances in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League, Bangladesh Premier League and Lanka Premier League, is set to make his first appearance in England's T20 competition.

John Sadler, Northamptonshire's head coach, welcomed Raza's signing, saying, "We're delighted with the signing of Sikandar for the Blast. He's a very experienced, high performer on a global scale. 

"He's a three-dimensional cricketer who always has an impact in every game he plays, we know he's also a fierce competitor which will be fantastic for us."

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