Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

His name is Innocent but when he bats, there is a lot of passion and energy involved. Innocent Kaia struck his maiden international hundred when Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh in the 1st ODI of the series, not long back. This was in a tough chase of over 300 runs. Innoncent and senior fellow Sikandar Raza added 192 runs for the 4th wicket – breaking a 25-year old partnership record vs Bangladesh. Raza and Innocent also became only the second Zimbabwean duo to score tons in the same ODI innings.

The 30-year-old showed immense maturity with the bat and did not look like a batter playing in just his 4th ODI. He played down the ground and managed to strike it at over 90 in the innings finishing with a brilliant 110. Most importantly, his knock helped beat Bangladesh by 5 wickets. 

Innocent is happy his first hundred came sooner and that it helped his team clinch a win but he is still not done. In an exlcusive chat with Zee News English, he said that he wants to hit a ton vs India too to continue the good work. He said, “Scoring the first hundred is always a good feeling, you know. Something that you know I always looked for when I started my career. There is more to come. I am not still satisfied with it. I am just hoping to score another one against India.”

Before making his international debut this year, Innocent played age group cricket for Zimbabwe as well as for the A side. As India comes to play at home, he feels the challenge is tough but it also gives him an opportunity to impress some visiting players and fans so that he could grab some attention here in India. This is because he wants to play in Indian Premier League and if possible then for Mumbai Indians. 

Innocent is a KL Rahul fan who has adored Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting while growing up. His first task is to win the series for Zimbabwe against India and then personally get a IPL contract as well by next year.

“It is always good when you are playing against India. For me, it is a big opportunity as when you do well against India, you can get a chance to even play in the Indian Premier League (IPL). I am just hoping I do well for my nation. If we win the series, it would be great for us,” said Innocent. 

The one key battle he is looking forward to is between him and India pacer Mohammed Siraj. Innocent rates Siraj highly and feels facing and scoring runs against him will give him a lot of confidence.  

Lastly, Innocent has an appeal to make. With Zimbabwe cricket dealing with financial crisis, he feels a lot is still to be done with cricket here. 

“What I from ICC is we need bowling machines, good facilities like indoor facilities. Good sponsorships. If we have these, we can do well in international cricket,” Innocent signed off.  

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