By Sports Reporter
FORMER Zimbabwe Cricket captain Tatenda Taibu is not ruling out another sensational return to the national team following his surprise return from retirement recently to play for Sri Lankan first class cricket side Baduraliya Sports Club.
The 35-year-old Zimbabwean wicket-keeper batsman appears to have got his comeback to first class cricket off to a promising start after scoring 13, 57, 39 and 13 in his first four innings scores in Sri Lanka.
And when asked if he would consider a national team return, Taibu said his target was to establish himself in the Sri Lankan scene before considering a return to international cricket.
“I haven’t thought that far. Because to start thinking about international, I have to be comfortable in first-class and I have to have the confidence that my body is still in shape,” Taibu said in an interview with the Indian news and media website Firstpost.
“I have to have the confidence that I will score hundreds, I have to have the confidence that I will take not only good catches but great catches. So it’s a little bit too early to be thinking about that.”
Taibu, who revealed that he had made a comeback as a player to fulfil his son Tatenda Jnr’s desire to see him play, said he considered himself one of the fittest cricketers in the world after working hard to keep fit during his retirement.
“Look, when I stopped playing cricket, I never really stopped training, even physical training. When I made the decision (to come back to competitive cricket), my schedule included running 7 kms on the beach, twice a week and then the other days in between, I would be doing sprints on the beach. I did all my fitness on the sand.
“So, in terms of fitness, it’s probably the easiest thing for me. I would not be lying if I said I am probably one of the fittest cricketers in the world. Without a doubt,” he said.
The legendary wicketkeeper batsman, who turned out in 28 Tests, 150 one-day internationals and 17 Twenty20 Internationals for the Chevrons, also explained his decision to make his recent comeback in Sri Lanka and not in Zimbabwe.
“I knew that I would walk into the domestic arena of Zimbabwe and score runs. I wanted something challenging. I like a challenge and I like to overcome a challenge,” Taibu explains.
“I never played first-class cricket in Sri Lanka. I don’t know most of the bowlers. I have only faced one or two that I have played with before.
“So, I am facing new bowlers, new conditions, new team, and new environment. Everything is new. So, for me, it’s a proper test of my ability. If I do well in that, I will have the satisfaction that I can still play the game.”
Taibu became the youngest ever Test captain in 2004 when he was 21.
But before his comeback early this month, he had last played representative cricket in February 2012 before retiring from all forms of the game to focus on church work.
Despite moving away from cricket in 2012, he made a comeback to the game in 2016 when he joined Hightown St Mary’s Cricket Club in the UK as player and coach.
Then, in 2017, he was appointed convener of selectors in Zimbabwe, but was removed from the position in early 2018 after Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.