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Taibu to launch Zimbabwe cricket academy based in Merseyside


Former Zimbabwe captain and current Hightown St Mary’s wicketkeeper-batsman Tatenda Taibu is set to launch a new cricket academy to help the brightest young prospects from his home country develop their skills on Merseyside and in the rest of the north-west during 2017.

Taibu retired from professional cricket in 2012 but last season scored 737 runs at an average of 52.64 as the Sandy Lane club won promotion to the Liverpool Competition’s First Division. He now hopes his new venture will help to re-establish Zimbabwe on the international stage by giving young players the chance to develop both personally and professionally outside their homeland.

The programme will consist of a series of coaching and mentoring sessions, with matches to be played against county academy or development squads. And with all games scheduled to be played midweek, selected players will also have the chance to turn out for local club sides at weekends.

"Now that Zimbabwe is making its way back in world cricket, we must strive to improve our performances at all levels and the next generation of talent is a crucial part of this," said the former international, who played 150 one-day internationals and 28 Test matches.

"Some of these players will be experiencing overseas conditions for the first time and it will be a valuable education for them, from a cricketing and personal perspective. If these guys can thrive in English conditions it will be a huge boost to their confidence and career and, who knows, maybe turn them into stars of the future."

The academy is being run in partnership with Crosby-based Flash Sports, which will be providing administration and logistical support as well as helping players to link up with club sides across the North West.

Taibu made a surprise return to cricket in April 2016, when he agreed to play for Hightown St Mary's after initially contacting the club over Christmas 2015. His move to Merseyside coincided with his desire to spend more time in the UK with his family.

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