KEEPER OF FAITH, This week I have the immense pleasure to have one of Zimbabwe cricket’s icon, Tatenda Taibu a man who has achieved so much in such a young, today he shares a bit of his story.
How did you get into cricket, and who was your inspiration?
I got into cricket in 1992, when it was Zimbabwe Cricket development programme, to spread cricket in the four corners of the country, my primary school was one of the schools that were chosen for this project, It was during the PE lessons that our coach used to come and teach us how to bat and bowl, from there he picked players who he thought were natural in the game, to then go for the afternoon practice which was from Monday to Friday all through the year, I was one of the players to be picked for the practice, My Inspiration after I started knowing about the game was Sachin Tendulkar, and knowing how short he is just like how short I am I started modelling my game around him.
You were Zimbabwe cricket’s poster boy at the age of 18 and became the youngest ever test captain at the age of 19, how was that feeling?
I think the information here is a bit misinformed, I made the squad at the age of 16, played my first game at the age of 17, became vice-captain at the age of 18 and was made the youngest test captain at the age of 20, everything was happening too quickly that I didn’t realize the strides I was making, I just wanted to concentrate on playing and I wanted to improve my game and score more runs and more wickets, and being world number one was one of my goals, that’s what I was concentrating on more than the leadership roles.
Your career was prematurely cut short because of the threats from the previous regime, as a young man how did you handle all this?
Like I said in my earlier answer, everything was happening so quickly, I had just been made captain and I started going for some important board meetings, and other important meetings with ministers and other high up officials in the government, things were happening too quickly for my age, and starting to come to terms with what really goes on in the industry of sport and a bit of politics as well was pretty scary at the time, as I was too young I was a bit naive and ignorant about it, so I had a lot of mixed feelings, but I did not pay too much attention to it though.
You were in exile and away from the international stage during your prime years, do you feel any regrets?
I don’t think that was during my prime years, as I hadn’t reached my prime years yet, No I don’t have any regrets to be honest when I came back I played my best cricket, as I was more focused on my game, and less attention on the team and less attention on some of the players that I knew had betrayed me.
You briefly returned to the Zimbabwe team but retired, to concentrate on your faith, how important is faith in your life?
I came back for five years in total after leaving Zimbabwe Cricket, that when I was playing my best cricket from around 2006-2011 and I was enjoying my cricket during that period, but my faith is very important its paramount to me, its more than a game its an everyday life, its a life of serving than being served, its an everyday thing for me and my family.
Last year you released your autobiography “KEEPER OF FAITH” I am certain lots of our readers would love to purchase a copy, how can they get a copy?
Keeper of faith is found on amazon, its a book I published last year in May it is an interesting read which will answer all the questions you’ve asked and will ask, it is my autobiography.
How do you see this squad shaping up and where do you see Zimbabwe cricket teams future in the coming years?
The Future of Zimbabwe cricket is all dependent on how cricket is run,there is talent in the country but the biggest threat is how the sport is being run.
You have a cricket academy back home, do you see anyone becoming the next Tatenda Taibu?
Yes I do have a cricket academy in Zimbabwe, but I haven’t started running it yet because of the economic situation in the country, so am looking to do a programme which is completely different to how an ordinary academy would run, I will have that way within a year or two years. the construction of the academy is complete and the nets have been erected but I haven’t started running it yet, it’s very difficult to tell who will be the next Tatenda Taibu will be, it’s all dependent on how the cricket is run, if it’s run well then we will see a star and if the cricket is not run well then it’s very difficult to see anyone making an impact.
What is your fondest memory playing cricket?
I have many fond memories, but getting the player of the series at the U19 world cup, My 107 against South Africa on my return, My 153 against Bangladesh are way up there.
If given the opportunity which player past or present would you like to play alongside and why?
Well, I already played with the players that I would have loved to play with, Andy Flower with whom I shared the changing room and pitch with many a times and the others being Sachin Tendulkar with whom I also played alongside with.
How do you define success?
To me, success is when one has done good in his/her chosen field and can lift uplift others to do the same or even better.
Thank you for such a riveting interview, for readers interested in learning more about Tatenda’s story, you can grab a copy of his autobiography in the link provided below.
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