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Taibu Return a Possibility
30 Sep 2006
By: George Roberts

Following Tatenda Taibu's disclosure that he was aiming to qualify for play for South Africa, the former Zimbabwe captain has now taken a drastic u-turn after being told that the switch would be difficult.

Taibu's potential swapping of allegiances was reported in the English press some fourteen days ago, but confusion has reigned over the situation, with the wicket-keeper batsman denying then confirming that he made the comments.

However in a recent interview with Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald, Taibu revealed that he could still play for his home country at next year's World Cup. Meanwhile, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa (CSA), Gerald Majola apparently advised Taibu against the move. Speaking to the Independent, he said that he told Taibu that "four years is a long time", and that preference had to be given to "other talented South African players coming up".

Taibu was supposedly close to signing a contract with the Lions, but a spokesperson for the franchise denied that no talks or deals had taken place. "CSA phoned us to check if we were interested in a player like him and we said we would want to have a look. However, there are no talks yet, no contact whatsoever except that Taibu has showed interest in joining us."

The presence of Peter Chingoka as Chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket appears to be the main issue still separating Taibu and a return to the national side. Chingoka was criticised by Taibu when he did nothing when the latter's family were threatened by the political activist Themba Mliswa.

A possible return is beckoning however, and Taibu could tour Bangladesh with the Zimbabwe side this November after the conclusion of the ICC Champions' Trophy. He has been short of high-level cricket since his self-imposed exile in September 2005, despite appearances in English and Bangladeshi club cricket.

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