AUDIO: A conversation with Tatenda Taibu on devoloping the next generation of Zim cricketers
Zimbabwe’s convener of selectors Tatenda Taibu is heading a team that will take 16 academy players to the United Kingdom to develop the ‘ultra talent’ in them.
We spoke to former Test Captain on the side of the launch of the Zimbabwe Cricket Rising Stars Academy at a Harare hotel recently.
The academy is meant to be a pipeline for age sides leading up to Zimbabwe A and the senior team.
The tour will see young Zimbabwean cricketers go on tour to the UK for six months where they will play matches against county sides as well as take part in high performance centres. Former international Stuart Matsikenyeri and Alec Gezi will be part of the coaching setup while UK-based Nick Gordon will serve as the liaison officer.
In this interview Taibu talks about:
- Whether players like Ryan Burl and Carl Mumba who are on the tour will take place in international cricket meanwhile
- How the tour will help the young players develop as international sportsmen, life balance, public speaking and things that he says ‘directly and indirectly affect their cricket’
- The criteria for picking players for this tour. He says it is ultra-talent. ‘You can teach consistency. But what you can’t teach the ball big… So we needed that natural turn of the cricket ball and then teach consistency’. On batting ‘I wanted guys who express themselves naturally… Guys who in the next few months when they play, pressure won’t be an issue’
- Players disappearing and moving elsewhere. ‘We got a feel from the thoughts of the player and the parents and screened from there. We had to let the parents know that there is a follow-up to this… We are putting together a proposal to have them play as a provincial side (to make them 5).
- ON whether they will play truant. ‘I am almost able to say 100% [they won’t]
- On what drives him to do this ‘I have big dreams’. He also tells a story of how some of the players he has picked now have benefited from his earlier efforts to develop cricket at junior level
Listen to the interview in full below: