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Tatenda Taibu, the forever young man from Zimbabwe

His recent comeback to professional cricket has made a buzz. He made headlines during his career as well. He is Tatenda Taibu, the forever young man from Zimbabwe who has turned 37 years today.

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Last updated: 14.05.2020
Tatenda Taibu | Sports Social Blog

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His recent comeback to professional cricket has made a buzz. He made headlines during his career as well. He is Tatenda Taibu, the forever young man from Zimbabwe who has turned 37 years today. Taibu has witnessed the golden period of Zimbabwe as well as the worst time. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that he had the ability to reach a lot of new highs if he did not have to face certain national issues.

Born on 14th May 1983 Taibu was picked up from his school, Churchill Boys High Scholl and was sent to West Indies in 1999-2000. He impressed the selectors and soon became the stand by for Andy Flower. He began his international cricket journey at the age of 18 in 2001. That was the most glorified period of Zimbabwe cricket with Andy Flower, Grant Flower, Heath Streak, Andy Bilgnaut, Neil Johnson, Paul Strang, Alistair Campbell in the lineup. Taibu made debut against West Indies when they toured Zimbabwe for ODI and test series in 2001. He showed his class from the beginning. His first half-century against Pakistan in his fifth test match was a glimpse of his talent. 2003 World Cup saw him contributing with some crucial knocks down the order and carrying a pair of safety gloves as well.

In two years' time, he was appointed the vice-captain of the Zimbabwe Cricket Team for the tour of England and in 2004 he was handed over the captaincy. Taibu became the youngest test captain ever in the history of cricket at the age of 21. The five-foot-tall right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman was given the captaincy of the national team at the most turbulent period. Heath Streak was sacked from captaincy and fourteen cricketers walked out citing political influence in the team’s management. This was the period when Zimbabwe cricket started facing the low and Taibu was made captain suddenly for Sri Lanka tour in 2004. But in 18 months' time, he had to resign from the prestigious post due to the unstable situation and all the chaos.  The situation saw Zimbabwe losing its test status voluntarily in 2005.

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Taibu’s captaincy record is not good but during captaincy, he showed his mark as a batsman too. As a captain, his test batting average (37.44) is significantly better than as a normal player (26.42). He took a couple of years break in 2005 and returned to Zimbabwe cricket in 2007 as a more developed and better batter. In a must-win situation in World Cup 2011, Taibu scored a splendid 98 for his side against Canada. He became the fifth Zimbabwe cricketer to score 3000 ODI runs. In 2011, when Zimbabwe returned to test cricket, Taibu scored half-centuries in each of three tests against Bangladesh.   

Tatenda announced his retirement in 2012 for all kinds of international cricket. Recently he made comeback to professional cricket as his son wanted him to see the play. He kept criticizing the Zimbabwe cricket scenario knowing that it might have an impact on his cricket career. This honestly and clarity probably makes Tatenda Taibu adorable to every cricket lover till date.

 

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