Tait to play in Zimbabwe T20 tournament
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.''