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Taibu quits

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Former Zimbabwe national team captain Tatenda Taibu has quit international cricket.

Taibu (29) quit last night just after Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) had named him in a 30-member provisional squad submitted to the International Cricket Council (ICC) ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

He says he will now concentrate on church work.

The decision ends an 11-year international career during which he became the youngest Test captain in history. Taibu played 28 Tests and 150 one-day internationals (ODIs) for Zimbabwe.

“I just feel that my true calling now lies in doing the Lord’s work and although I am fortunate and proud to have played for my country, the time has come for me to put my entire focus on that part of my life,” Taibu said in a statement last night.

ZC said they considered the former wicketkeeper as one of the success stories of its development programme and were saddened to be losing his services, although Taibu was appreciative of ZC’s open-door policy should he wish to be involved in the game again in the future.

Taibu had hinted in a interview with our sister paper, The Standard, in January 2011, that he was ready to find satisfaction somewhere as he had achieved “everything in life”.

“I have achieved everything in life, my brother, and one thing that I am trying to achieve is the salvation of my soul. I was the first black captain in the country, the youngest Test captain in the history of the sport and also the first local player to score two centuries against South Africa, but that was not enough.

“I realised that I had to find satisfaction somewhere else and I am happy I have found it in God. Through Him, the sky is the limit for me and my family.

“When I was growing up I used to think that success meant having money, a good wife and family, but that is wrong,” Taibu, a member of the Eagle Eye Tabernacle in Gweru, told the paper then.

Now it seems everything has come full circle for him and he has taken the challenge to do God’s work. Taibu made his first-class debut at the age of 16, and his debut for the national team in 2001, at 18. In 2003, he was appointed vice-captain to Heath Streak on the team’s tour of England, and he was appointed national captain in April 2004, making him the youngest Test captain in history.

He took a two-year break from Zimbabwe from 2005 to 2007 when he played a season as the captain of Namibia and another season for the Cape Cobras in South Africa.

He made his return to the Zimbabwe side in a series against India A in July 2007, registering a century. The following month Zimbabwe hosted South Africa for a three-game ODI series and in the final game Taibu scored a career best 107 not out. It was the first ODI century by a Zimbabwean against South Africa.

On February 20, 2008, Taibu’s contract was purchased by the Kolkata Knight Riders of the Indian Premier League.

During 2010, Taibu’s form continued to soar and he scored 73 against South Africa as Zimbabwe were all out for 268. The South Africans chased down the total comfortably with Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers scoring centuries.

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 against the country’s cricket administration. He scored half-centuries in each of the three Tests.

Zimbabwe squad: Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda,
Stuart Matsikenyeri, Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura, Craig Ervine, Regis Chakabva, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Edward Rainsford, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Raymond Price, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Kyle Jarvis, Christopher Mpofu, Natsai Mushangwe, Richard Muzhange, Brian Vitori, Shingirai Masakadza, Forster Mutizwa, Keegan Meth, Tawanda Mupariwa, Tendai Chatara, Njabulo Ncube, Kevin Kasuza, Richmond Mutumbami

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