Former England wicketkeeper batsman Sarah Taylor became the first women’s coach in men’s professional franchise cricket after being appointed assistant coach of Team Abu Dhabi for the Abu Dhabi T10 League begin November 19th. Taylor, widely regarded as one of the best wicketkeepers ever, became the first female specialist coach to join a male county team with Sussex in the UK. She is now building on that by walking a new path with Team Abu Dhabi again, and Taylor hopes her involvement with the T10 League will inspire women around the world.
“When you get into this franchise world, you get players and coaches coming in from all over the world where that may not necessarily be the norm,” Taylor said.
“But I would like to think that some young girl or some woman who watches can see me in the coaching team and realize it’s an opportunity and they can push for it and say: ‘If she can do it, why can I not? ‘ “
After making her debut in 2006, the 32-year-old Taylor played in 10 Tests, 126 ODIs and 90 T20s before announcing her international retirement in 2019.
She returned to professional cricket this summer to play in The Hundred and the 2021 Women’s Twenty20 Cup in the UK. She hopes other women follow his path and follow her.
“I do hope it gets a little more normal and I may be the first, but I will not be the last. Coaching is my passion and it goes quite down the men’s route, which is really exciting.
“I’ve never had problems in male environments and I enjoy the challenge. You always want to prove you’re good enough, but it’s the same for any coach who enters a new environment.”
Taylor, who has won two ICC Women’s World Cups, the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and represented England 226 times over the course of an excellent playing career, will serve as assistant to head coach Paul Farbrace.
Team Abu Dhabi has acquired the services of former South African versatile player Lance Klusener, who is currently the head coach of the Afghanistan team playing in the T20 World Cup.
In addition to continuing to work with Sussex, Taylor also coaches at Bede’s School in the same country.
While staying open for more play opportunities, Taylor turned down a play performance this winter to work with Team Abu Dhabi and she looks forward to picking the brains of people like Farbrace and Klusener.
“It came completely out of the blue and it was a wonderful surprise. I counted down the days until I could get to Abu Dhabi and get going.
“I can not wait. Once I find out who the staff are, it made it even more exciting and it was a light bulb moment that I would be stupid to miss the opportunity. I have so much to learn, they I probably have so much to tell me and I’m going to be a lot of a sponge, I’ll have to be.
“I’m going to sit there with a notebook and write as much as I can. They know that too, and will teach me as much as I did at the beginning of my coaching career.”
Team Abu Dhabi also announced the signing of English international Liam Lawrence as their iconic player, while retaining West Indies legend Chris Gayle.
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