Thursday, 12 March 2009 09:38
THE Zimbabwean national cricket team arrived in the country yesterday ahead of their 3 ODI (One Day International) match minus their former captain, Tatenda Taibu, the man who made a difference whilst playing for Namibia two seasons ago.
Most cricket fans expected Taibu to come to Windhoek this week to play against a country that almost handed him citizenship just one year earlier.
But reports from Harare say the right handed batsman is being tried by Zimbabwean courts for an alleged assault on his teammates and cricket officials.
Taibu left Namibia in 2008, after assisting the country as an ‘overseas player’ in the second tier of South African first class and List A cricket, where the team missed out on the final stages of both competitions in 2007.
When he returned to Zimbabwe, he is alleged to have assaulted Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) General Finance Manager Esther Lupepe, following an altercation over outstanding payments he claimed were owed to him.
Players, selectors and team managers said they had difficulties working with the former Namibian playmaker.
Taibu is said to have grabbed Lupepe by the neck and pulled her up from a sitting position, demanding that she accompany him to his bank to prove to her that his monthly payment had not been deposited when it was due.
Lupepe’s blouse was in disarray but Taibu denied having manhandled Lupepe, admitting only that he was under pressure as he needed to pay medical fees for his hospitalised wife.
Namibia came close to awarding Taibu citizenship between 2007 and 2008, after the player prematurely retired from playing for Zimbabwe in 2005, following irreconcilable differences with ZC.
Taibu was an inspiration in the SAA franchise provincial competitions, where he had become a competitive force in One Dayers and Test Matches for Namibia.
This weekend’s game is part of Namibia’s preparation for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.