In a surprise decision, former Zimbabwean cricket captain Tatenda Taibu today brought the curtains down on his 11-year-long international career, saying he wants to focus on working for the Church.
The 29-year-old, who played 28 Tests and 150 ODIs for Zimbabwe, was named in his country's provisional squad for September's Twenty20 World Cup earlier in the day.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, who became the youngest Test captain in history in 2004, had been out of top-flight cricket since the tour of New Zealand early this year because of a finger injury.
"I just feel that my true calling now lies in doing the Lord's work and although I am fortunate and proud to have played for my country, the time has come for me to put my entire focus on that part of my life," Taibu was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
In 2001, Taibu made his debut at the age of 18 as a successor to former wicketkeeper-batsman Andy Flower. He was made the captain in 2004 but he quit from captaincy and the national side next year, following threats against his family. In 2006, he shifted base to South Africa. He wanted to go through the four-year qualification process to be eligible to play international cricket for South Africa but he once again came back to Zimbabwe in 2007.
In a career spanning 11 years, Taibu received the Man-of-the-Match award in 2005 against Bangladesh when he made 85 not out and 153 to help Zimbabwe draw the Test.
Another highlight of his career was the only other Test victory against Bangladesh last year, when Zimbabwe returned to the format after a six-year exile. Taibu finished as Zimbabwe's fourth-highest run-getter in ODIs, and has second highest dismissals as a ODI wicketkeeper for Zimbabwe. Only Flower has effected more dismissals than Taibu.