5 Zimbabwean players who never played in the IPL but could have done well
Zimbabwe was a formidable team in the ODI format in the 1990s and early 2000s. The team was capable of beating the top cricketing nations on their day. The cricketing world witnessed the best of Zimbabwean cricket in the 1999 World Cup. The African nation beat Kenya, India, and South Africa in the group stages to qualify for the group 6 stage. They could not progress further in the tournament but the cricketing world witnessed the rise of Zimbabwean cricket.
The team comprised of a settled batting unit, match winning all-rounders and variety in bolwing attacks which made them a formidable outfit. The 2003 World Cup also witnessed Zimbabwe making it to the super six round. Thereafter due to issues with the board and other reasons, the progress of cricket in Zimbabwe has stagnated.
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Some of the cricketers in those Zimbabwean sides could have excelled in the IPL and here is a look at 5 such players.
#1. Neil Johnson
The Zimbabwean all-rounder stamped his authority on the 1999 World Cup. Neil Johnson, was exceptional, both with the bat and the ball in the 1999 World Cup. He scored 367 runs at an average of 52.43 with unbeaten 132 against the tournament winners Australia and 3 half centuries against Kenya, South Africa, and Pakistan. He also picked up 12 wickets at an average of 19.42 in the 1999 World Cup.
In his ODI career which lasted for around 2 years, Johnson was a real asset for the team and scored runs at an average of 36.50 and also picked up 35 wickets.
He played most of his ODI cricket opening the batting for Zimbabwe. He was a right-arm fast medium bowler and a wicket taking option for the skipper. Johnson would have been a handy pick for any IPL franchise considering that he could score quick runs at the top of the order.