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Tait to play in Zimbabwe T20 tournament

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 19, 2011

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Shaun Tait bowls in the nets, Ahmedabad, March 22, 2011
Shaun Tait will warm up for the Big Bash League with a stint in Zimbabwean domestic cricket © Getty Images
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Shaun Tait, the Australia fast bowler, is set to add to his tally of Twenty20 teams after agreeing terms with Zimbabwean domestic franchise Mid West Rhinos. Tait will play for Rhinos during Zimbabwe's domestic Twenty20 competition in late November this year.

Tait, who signed up to play for the Melbourne Renegades in Australia's Big Bash League six weeks ago and will also represent Dolphins, the Durban-based South African franchise, for the Pro20 competition early next year, said he hoped his Zimbabwe stint would help boost his match fitness ahead of his Big Bash outing.

''That's the thing with Twenty20 tournaments, you've got to pick which ones are at the right time to keep your match fitness up, and rest in between,'' he said. ''It's just [before] the Big Bash, so it's perfect timing.''

The dates for Zimbabwe's fortnight-long Twenty20 tournament have not been finalised but it is expected that the competition will be completed by December 3, which will allow Tait to travel back to Melbourne well in time to prepare for the Big Bash.

Tait retired from Tests in 2008 and quit ODIs too following Australia's exit in the quarter-final stage of the 2011 World Cup. He then represented Rajasthan Royals in the IPL this year, grabbing six wickets in four games. He was forced to turn down a deal with Surrey earlier this year due to an elbow injury sustained during the IPL. His Zimbabwe deal was set up by his former teammate Jason Gillespie, who has also re-signed as coach of Rhinos.

''The way it's going I'm just going to play [Twenty20] tournaments," Tait, who is still available to play Twenty20 cricket for Australia, said. "If clubs are keen to sign me, that's great. I've become sort of a freelance Twenty20 player.''

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety on (August 21, 2011, 5:16 GMT)

Over the last couple of years - the way the Zimmers have gone about their cricket has (particularly behind the scenes), has been brilliant. Picking up Tait is another good coup from them. Having Zim batsmen face Tait, will be a great development step, regardless of the fact its only T20 - his pace will be something they've rarely encountered. Clever stuff. -- -- -- Good on Tait I say, we'll never really know the hurdles he faced as a test aspirant, (unless he releases a biography of course). Didn't have the phsyicality for the longer formats, he really has only known a pro-sports career, so I don't begrudge him trying to earn a living!

Posted by   on (August 20, 2011, 23:51 GMT)

a great thing for Zim cricket. A bowler of Tait's pace and calibre is not something domestic cricketers in Zim would be used to, so this will provide them with great exposure. Good on Gillespie for helping to secure this deal. I myself am a traditionalist and will always love tests, however I think that Tait has done the right thing here. His only option is to be a freelance T20 player as it is clearly evident that neither his body or mind will hold up to the longer formats of the game.

Posted by niyasindian on (August 20, 2011, 17:50 GMT)

gud for zimbabwen cricket

Posted by CricketChat on (August 20, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

T20 has well and truly entrenched itself. Only available venue for Tait to stay in cricket and make a living, given his physical and mental state. The T20 only specialist brand will keep growing. Like or not, one has to accept it.

Posted by jonesy2 on (August 20, 2011, 11:25 GMT)

oh wow haha thats hardly fair for the rest of the zim teams.

Posted by Dashgar on (August 20, 2011, 4:44 GMT)

Tait's body cannot stand up to test or first class cricket. In another age he would have simply had to retire, now he can still make a career out of his skills, which is a good thing. Also the Zimbabwean players will benefit from being exposed to his bowling so it is good for cricket all round.

Posted by evenflow_1990 on (August 20, 2011, 1:27 GMT)

his talents, his skills. he has every right to choose how he handles his career. at the end of the day its his decision, so good luck to him and hopefully zimbabwe will get some positive exposure out of this.

Posted by Muzgrob on (August 20, 2011, 0:05 GMT)

He doesn't believe his body can hold up to ODI's or tests, but yet he can fly himself around the world playing Mickey Mouse tournaments? Good riddance to him from the Australian set up.

Posted by PontiusPilate78 on (August 19, 2011, 19:11 GMT)

Nice- this should further help the Zimbabwe franchise system get even better - coverage , financing , exposure to top class players .... Alright then boys WHOSE NEXT!? PONTING, MALINGA- STRAUSS -- you never know !

Posted by   on (August 19, 2011, 19:01 GMT)

The beginning of a bad trend amongst cricketers. The likes of Gayle, Pollard looks to take this way.ENG won't have any problems as it has always preferred County Champinship and the test set up. It is the likes of Raina, Khli David Warner, Ishant sharma that needs to be seen.

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