By Sports Reporter
FORMER Zimbabwe national cricket team captain Tatenda Taibu is poised for a sensational return to professional cricket at the age of 35 after confirming a move to Sri Lankan first-class cricket side Baduraliya Sports Club.
Taibu who is set to make his official debut for the club which is based in the village of Magonna, on the west coast of Sri Lanka, later this month said his return to professional cricket was motivated by his son.
“I have said many times that my life is not guided by emotion or well-set plans, but I believe I am led by a voice inside my heart which I cannot ignore,” said Taibu, who now lives in Liverpool, England, said in a statement released on Monday.
“My son Tatenda jnr also often asks how I used to play, now that he has taken a liking to the sport. He didn’t really get the chance to see me as he was too young at the time. I have stayed extremely fit and healthy and feel I’m still one of the fittest cricketers around, so I thought maybe I can let him see for himself how I can perform.”
The wicketkeeper-batsman, who in 2004 became Test cricket’s youngest-ever captain at the age of 21, also explained his decision to play for the Sri Lankan side and what he hopes to contribute with the side.
“They had advertised to have an overseas player and I immediately applied. I was in communication with Roshan Abeysinghe who is an administrator at the club,” Taibu said.
“I would like to keep wickets in this entire season for the club but it will be up to my captain to utilise my services.”
Taibu, however, retired from all forms of the game in 2012 after a topsy-turvy career to focus on church work. He had played 28 Tests, 150 One-Day Internationals and 17 T20Is for Zimbabwe.
His return is yet another chapter in Taibu’s roller-coaster career.
Prior to his retirement, he represented Zimbabwe in 28 Tests, 150 one-day internationals and 17 Twenty20 Internationals.
Taibu returned in 2016 as player and coach for Hightown St Mary’s CC, a club in the United Kingdom.
He was then named convener of selectors in 2017 for the Zimbabwe national side. However, the three-run defeat to UAE along with Zimbabwe’s failure to qualifying for next year’s World Cup saw him being sacked by the board along with then head coach Heath Streak and skipper Graeme Cremer.
During his stay in England, Taibu launched the Rising Stars Academy, which recruited young Zimbabwean players for training and life mentoring in the UK.