SIKANDAR RAZA is “relieved and more than happy” to be playing cricket again after he was picked by the Northern Warriors for the T10 League in Abu Dhabi.
The T10 League is in its third season and Raza, who missed Zimbabwe’s last tour due to “disciplinary issues”, will be making a maiden appearance in the tournament running from November 15-24.
“It has been a difficult period without cricket so finally to be playing some cricket is a big sigh of relief,” Raza told The Sunday Mail Online.
“I was more relieved than happy to be honest,” he said.
The 33-year-old’s last competitive match was a T20 against Ireland in July and the all-rounder was overlooked for the Bangladesh Tri-series that also featured Afghanistan in September, over disciplinary issues raised by former captain Hamilton Masakadza.
Raza, however, never stopped practising.
“We have a very limited life span as a cricketer so I want to make sure once I am done I can say I have given my all. It’s great and very humbling to part of these leagues, BPL, PSL, GT20, APL, Shapageeza.
“They all have played a great role in my development and this will be a first experience for me at T10 and am very much looking forward to this,” Raza said.
Raza will team up with West Indian two-time World T20 winner Darren Sammy, who is the team’s captain and iconic player.
Some of Raza’s teammates will be big-hitting West Indian Andre Russell, Pakistan left-arm quick Wahab Riaz and Englishman Sam Billings, amongst others in the Northern Warriors who will be defending their title.
“That’s a great thing,” added Raza.
“Imagine how better my growth as a player will be when I walk into a winning and a champion team environment.”
Two other Zimbabwe players, Brendan Taylor and Tendai Chatara, are in Afghanistan playing the Shapageeza T20 tournament.
“I wish to see more Zimbabweans at these tournaments as it is great for the development and growth of the player which, ultimately, is good for the country,” said Raza.