BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
FORMER Zimbabwe cricket team captain Tatenda Taibu is excited by the prospect of contributing towards the development of cricket in Bangladesh following reports that he is set to join the Bangladesh Institute of Sports in a coaching role.
The 37-year-old England-based former wicketkeeper batsman remains a popular figure in Bangladesh, a country he affectionately considers as his second home, almost a decade after retiring from international cricket.
Bangladesh Institute of Sports cricket advisor Nazmul Abedin told the Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Sun that Taibu is currently in talks to become a coach at the institution that is considered to be the breeding ground of many international cricketers in the subcontinent nation.
Some of the top Bangladesh cricketers who have come through the ranks of the Bangladesh Institute of Sports, also known as Bangladesh Krira Shikha Protishtan (BKSP) include Shakib Al Hasan, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar.
“We are in talks with him (Taibu) and there is a possibility that he will join us as cricket coach but nothing is finalised yet,” said Nazmul.
“We are hopeful about him and we feel it will benefit our cricketers considering he was a very hardworking cricketer during his time and hopefully he can guide his charges in the same manner,” he added.
If Taibu gets the job he is expected to work alongside former Australia’s High Performance coach Andy Cottam at the BKSP.
Taibu told Standardsport in an interview from his base in Liverpool, yesterday that although he was relishing the opportunity to contribute to Bangladesh cricket, nothing has been finalised yet as consultations are still taking place.
“Yes it’s true that I could be moving to Bangladesh but discussions are still ongoing but nothing has been finalised yet so I can’t comment any further at this stage. However, as you know Bangladesh is like my second home and If Im given a contract it would be a great opportunity. BKSP is the hub of Bangladesh cricketers and I know I would do wonders with them,” Taibu said.
Taibu has recently been coaching at St. Mary’s College in Liverpool, where his son, Tatenda Junior, is part of the schools team.
“I’ve been coaching at St Mary’s College where my older boy goes to but as you know that was expected it was affected when the pandemic hit so that has left me spending a lot of time with the family and my two boys who are now keen cricketers and very good for that matter,” he said.
The former wicketkeeper-batsman, who made his international debut in 2001, became the youngest-ever Test captain in 2004 at the age of only 21.
However, his feat was later broken by none other than Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan against Bangladesh in 2019.
Taibu, who had a topsy-turvy career, also took early retirement from all forms of the game in 2012 to focus on church work.
He represented Zimbabwe in 28 Tests, 150 ODIs and 17 T20Is and scored over 5000 runs for his country and he is recognised as the country’s most successful wicketkeeper-batsman after Andy Flower.
Taibu, however, returned in 2016 as player and coach for Hightown St Mary’s CC, a club in the UK.
He was then named convenor of selectors in 2017 for the Zimbabwe national side but the Chevrons’ failure to qualify for the 2019 ICC World Cup resulted in him sacked by the board along with head coach Heath Streak and skipper Graeme Cremer.
Taibu again returned to cricket at the age of 35 as he debuted for the Badureliya Sports Club, a Sri Lankan first-class side in 2018 but he is now looking to give priority to his coaching career with an ambition of becoming a prominent cricket coach.