Tatenda Taibu Exclusive: I Had The Ability To Become World No.1 In test Cricket At Some Stage
Tatenda Taibu (Photo-AP)

Former Zimbabwe skipper, Tatenda Taibu, turns 37 on Thursday. Tatenda Taibu was a wicketkeeper-batsman, who also had the opportunity to captain the Zimbabwe cricket team. From May 6, 2004, to September 5, 2019, he held the record for being the youngest test captain in history when he captained his team against Sri Lanka until Rashid Khan of Afghanistan claimed the record.

In July 2012 Taibu, aged only 29, decided to retire from cricket to focus on his work in a church. However, in an exclusive chat with CricketAddictor.com, Taibu termed that this wasn’t the actual truth and that the Zimbabwe board had put this up to combat the outrage of people.

Tatenda Taibu
Tatenda Taibu. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Tatenda Taibu: As A Player

Taibu made his first-class cricket debut at the age of 16, and his debut for Zimbabwe national team in 2001, aged 18. In 2003, he was appointed vice-captain to Heath Streak on the team’s tour of England, and he was named national captain in April 2004, making him the youngest Test captain in history then, until Rashid Khan of Afghanistan claimed the record in 2019.

Tatenda Taibu
Tatenda Taibu (Credits: Yahoo)

Statistically, Taibu went on to play a total of 28 Test matches wherein he scored 1546 runs at an average of 30.31. He also represented Zimbabwe in 150 ODIs and scored 3393 runs at an average of 29.25 with two centuries in the format. Having played 16 T20Is for Zimbabwe, Tatenda Taibu amassed 254 runs at an average of 28.22.

Tatenda Taibu: What Is He Up To Now

He joined Hightown St. Mary’s Cricket Club in 2016 as a player-coach-development-officer in the second-division of the Liverpool & District Cricket Competition. While writing his autobiography, he realised that he would have to return to Zimbabwe. Taibu returned to the fold as the convener of selectors in 2016, but even that stint was short-lived as he was asked to resign post-Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

Tatenda Taibu
Tatenda Taibu (Photo-Zimbio)

Taibu is eyeing a coaching role in the IPL. He still has very fond memories of his time in India and expressed his desire to coach in the world-famous Twenty20 competition, the IPL and India’s domestic first-class cricket championship, the Ranji Trophy.

Tatenda Taibu: Lesser Known Facts

From May 6, 2004, to September 5, 2019, he held the record for being the youngest test captain in history when he captained his team against Sri Lanka until Rashid Khan of Afghanistan claimed the record. Rashid Khan was eight days younger than Taibu when he captained Afghanistan against Bangladesh. When Zimbabwe returned to Test cricket in 2011, Taibu was selected to play in their one-off Tests against Bangladesh, Pakistan and New Zealand despite making critical remarks of the country’s cricket administration.

Tatenda Taibu Turns 37: A Look At His Lesser Known Facts
Tatenda Taibu. Credit: AFP

Taibu became the 5th Zimbabwean to score 3,000 runs during his innings of 53 (74) against Kenya at Eden Gardens, Kolkata during the 2011 World Cup on 20 March 2011. He, along with Stuart Matsikenyeri, set the record partnership in ODIs for the sixth wicket for Zimbabwe(188).

Tatenda Taibu made history in 2008 when he became the first Zimbabwe player to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In 2008, he was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for US$ 125 000. However, he did not get enough playing chances because of the presence of destructive opener Brendon McCullum in the team.

He finished his career as Zimbabwe’s fourth-highest run-scorer in ODIs with the second most dismissals as a wicketkeeper, behind Andy Flower. In 2019, Taibu wrote a book titled ‘Keeper of Faith’, in which he discusses the socio-political situation in Zimbabwe, his childhood beatings, perception after witnessing privileged white cricketers and threats by receiving photos of dead bodies.

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