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Tatenda Taibu quits cricket for church aged 29

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 9, 2012

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Tatenda Taibu plays the ball behind point, Kenya v Zimbabwe, Group A, World Cup 2011, Kolkata, March 20, 2011
Tatenda Taibu has retired hours after being named in Zimbabwe's provisional squad for the World Twenty20 © Getty Images
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Tatenda Taibu, the Zimbabwe wicketkeeper-batsman, has announced his retirement, stating that he wants to focus on working for the church. Taibu played 28 Tests and 150 ODIs for Zimbabwe and has quit aged only 29, usually a cricketer's prime.

The decision comes as even more of a surprise as, earlier in the day, he was named in Zimbabwe's provisional squad for September's World Twenty20. It ends an 11-year international career, during which he became the youngest Test captain in history. A finger injury kept him out of top-flight cricket since the tour of New Zealand early this year.

"I just feel that my true calling now lies in doing the Lord's work," Taibu said, "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."

Since making his debut at the age of 18 in 2001, Taibu was an automatic pick for Zimbabwe, except for the times when he clashed with his country's cricket board. He had stepped down as captain and quit the national side back in 2005 following threats against his family. Taibu moved to South Africa in 2006 with the intention of going through the four-year qualification process to be eligible for international cricket for them. However, he reappeared for Zimbabwe in 2007.

One of the highlights of his career was his Man-of-the-Match performance in 2005 against Bangladesh, when he made 85* and 153 to help Zimbabwe draw the Test. His only other Test victory was against Bangladesh last year, when Zimbabwe returned to the format after a six-year exile. Taibu's outspoken nature was highlighted before that match as he slammed the board for not doing enough to promote cricket in the country.

He was picked while still in his teens as a potential long-term successor as wicketkeeper-batsman to Andy Flower, and while he didn't reach the heights Flower did, he forged a solid career. He finishes as the country's fourth-highest run-getter in ODIs, and only Flower has effected more dismissals than him as a one-day wicketkeeper for Zimbabwe.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

God bless yo Tatenda.You are a good player.I respect your decision.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (July 12, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

He was a decent wicket keeper batsman. It is not a right time to quit, mate.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2012, 5:26 GMT)

ZIMBABWE NEEDED UR SERVICE FOR ANOTHER 5-6 YEARS.... AND THEN U SHOULD HVE RENDERED UR SERVICES TO THE ALMIGHTY...BUT STILL I RESPECT UR DECISION.....U R A TRUE SON OF JESUS CHRIST...GOD BLESS...

Posted by coolindianfan on (July 12, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

hats off Taibu .Few can do what he is doing .May god keep u happy

Posted by   on (July 11, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

thanks for the good work you have done for Zim Cricket.All the best brother!!!

Posted by SuperSharky on (July 11, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

Good for Taibu, sad for cricket fans who wanted to see more of this fighting wicket-keeper, especially now that Zimbabwe cricket starts to rise again with good form.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

I have been a fan since you were 19 and had followed you throughout your tenure in the game. they is a point when a grown up man has do the best for his life and family. Tatenda we will miss you in the field but i know you still in the game .we support you . may God bless

Posted by paulantony on (July 11, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Well done my brother... as the saying goes "√Ąttemp great things for GOD and only then expect Great things from HIM".., You truly can expect a great reward from your HEAVENLY FATHER for your SACRIFICE...

Posted by halberdierv2 on (July 11, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

Go with God. cricket is just a game, but the Lord's work is for life.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2012, 1:02 GMT)

In a world of IPL where $$$ speaks louder than anything else and when the security of a person's future comes before the love of the game or country or fans, you have chosen well to bank your securities on a source that will never let you down.. God bless you..

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