Friday, November 25, 2005

Just thinking politics and saw ...

From Cricinfo, Tatenda Taibu quits as an international.

Who is Tatenda Taibu ? He was the person chosen to head up Zimbabwe cricket on the field as captain, after that nation's cricket suffered a mass walkout of almost all of the senior players. When he got the call, he stepped up and led the remains of that team like an absolute hero, picking it up by the scruff of the neck. When the team didn't perform, he did. And he performed rather well.

Taibu came in as an 18 year old against the West Indies and despite playing in a team that was hopelessly outclassed on all occasions, managed a batting average of just under 30, which is decent for any international keeper. And that average went up to 37 as captain. What marks that achievement even more is that he was also a very young captain, taking on the captaincy at 21. And it's not easy to bat in a side where you're more worried about the fragility of partners than you are about just getting on and getting the big score.

I've been pretty mild about the politics aspect of this so far and intend to stay that way. Everyone knows what's going on in Zimbabwe (at least what we've been told about it) so I don't need to repeat that ;-). Anyway, Cricinfo covers the politics background far better than this humble player can. I just think this particular player (Taibu) needs his own slice of recognition and credit for being able to perform at that high level, despite the peer pressure from former teammates and the greater pressures from his cricketing masters. It's quite sad that someone has been forced to quit by people who aren't interested in cricket as a game to be loved.

You could even describe it as one man, left stranded on his own and caught out in the middle after fending off the bouncers.

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