Former Zimbabwe skipper Tatenda Taibu has announced a return to professional cricket at the age of 35.
Taibu has agreed a deal to play for Sri Lankan first-class outfit Baduraliya Sports Club, and is scheduled to debut for them this December.
It has become apparent that Tatenda junior has played a big role in inspiring this comeback, with the former convenor of selectors admitting that he wanted his young son to see him play cricket.
Taibu was controversially sacked from his role as chief selector, along with the entire coaching staff, after Zimbabwe narrowly failed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
The wicketkeeper-batsman retired from all forms of the game in 2012 to pursue a full-time ministry, but made a comeback of sorts in 2016 when he agreed to play and coach for United Kingdom club side Hightown St Mary’s CC.
‘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, now based in the UK.
‘My son Tatenda junior 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.’
Taibu says he chose Sri Lanka because it offered him the best fit, both in terms of his schedule and the culture of cricket in the country.
‘I was looking at countries that play during the UK winter, and using my contacts around the world. Pakistan was one option, but not possible because the season is already well under way there. South Africa has a few difficulties with regard to overseas players, and Sri Lanka just seemed like the best fit. It’s a beautiful country and the cricket is competitive. I’m just really looking forward to the challenge,’ he added.
Taibu also confirmed that his autobiography has been finalised and is scheduled for release in April 2019.