Taibu quits Zimbabwe cricket team after further threats

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Tatenda Taibu, the captain of the Zimbabwe cricket team, has announced that he will stand down from international cricket, after further threats were made against him by controversial Zimbabwean cricket figure Themba Mliswa.

Taibu alleges that he was threatened by Mliswa at a meeting with Zimbabwe Cricket Board chairman Peter Chingoka at a meeting earlier this week. He claims that Mliswa said to him "If you thought it is over it is not. Your time is coming and I will get you".

Taibu had earlier gone into hiding when he received a telephone call, allegedly from Mliswa, in which threats were made against him and his wife and child. He says he is now considering his options, and a move to playing provincial cricket in South Africa, or county cricket in England appears likely. The largely state-controlled Zimbabwean media has largely attempted to portray the defection as a money issue, or a racial issue, and has not aired Taibu's allegations publicly.

Zimbabwe cricket has lurched from crisis to crisis recently, as political appointees from the Mugabe regime infiltrate the sport's governing structure. Many of the country's top players have either fled the country or turned their backs on the game, including Henry Olonga who fled into exile after having an arrest warrant issued in his name for treason, after stating that democracy was dead in Zimbabwe at the 2003 Cricket World Cup.