TROUBLED Zimbabwe cricket wicketkeeper and former captain Tatenda Taibu says he is baffled at being dropped from the team that left for India this week â€” the reason given being that he did not have his kit.
The team flew out Tuesday to take part in the Deodhar Trophy, a List A competition which started Saturday in Cuttack.
Taibu was replaced by Zimbabwe A wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva. Â
Zimbabwe team manager Givemore Makoni was quoted on the Zimbabwe Cricket website this week as saying Taibu left his kit in Bangladesh in January when the team stopped over in Kenya for a five-match ODI series.
â€œIâ€™m actually going to India via Dhaka to collect that kit before I join the boys for the tournament which is next door neighbour to India,â€ Makoni said.
However Taibu told IndependentSport Thursday that he had been told Makoni was not likely to get the kit.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t make sense because if there is no chance of him getting the kit why is he going to Bangladesh?â€ Taibu said. â€œI was very puzzled to hear from Kenyon Ziehl, the chairman of selectors, that I had been dropped simply because of kit which, mindÂ you, includes helmets, pads and bats.
â€œWhen we left Bangladesh I was told that the kit would be in Kenya. It never arrived. When we came back I was told that it would come to Zimbabwe but I later found it wasnâ€™t true because the kit had not even been moved.â€
He said he would have easily secured kit while in India.
â€œI (have) got so many friends in India. I made friends over the years with Indian players and kit was never going to be an issue. On arrival in India I would have simply called some people there who would have supplied me. WhenÂ I played in the Indian Premier League last year I met with the guy who made kits for Saurav Ganguly (retired India international). I tried to explain that to Kenyon but he seemed not interested.â€
Taibu, who is facing assault charges following an altercation with ZC finance general manager Esther Lupepe last October, said he would fight for his place in the team.
â€œI will wait to hear the truth because I think something is happening outside the kit issue,â€ he said. â€œIf someone is trying to frustrate me they will not win because I will always be available to play for my countryâ€¦ I will not pull out. I will perform at my best, which I know I can do. I will remain professional and do things the way God wants me to do things.
â€œIâ€™m very disappointed (at being left out) because as a professional I am available to play any game, be it first-class or international. Any game is welcome especially now when we donâ€™t play the top teams often. The more you play the more you improve and by sitting at home I wonâ€™t take part in the evolution of the sport.â€
Taibu did not play a part in Zimbabweâ€™s 5-0 whitewash of Kenya. At the time the kit issue was mentioned. But it later emerged Taibuâ€™s non-appearance was largely due to a strained relationship with teammates and management.
Testifying as a witness in the Lupepe assault case last month, ZC board member and legal expert Wilson Manase revealed that while in Kenya, coach Walter Chawaguta and head selector Kenyon Ziehl asked him and ZC managing director Ozias Bvute to mediate in the conflict.
Manase told the court that Taibuâ€™s behaviour was â€œaffecting team spiritâ€.
He said the former skipper was not getting along with his fellow players and management.Â
BY ENOCK MUCHINJO