Former England wicketkeeper-batter Sarah Taylor has been appointed as the assistant coach of Team Abu Dhabi for the Abu Dhabi T10 competition. Taylor, widely regarded as one of the best women cricketers from England, also serves as the specialist coach for the Sussex men’s team. It’s rare to see a lady coaching men’s team and Taylor’s appointment can be seen as a breakthrough moment in franchise cricket which will inspire many more women and girls to take up the role.
“Coming into this franchise world, you get players and coaches coming in from all around the world where it may not necessarily be the norm but I’d love to think that some young girl or some woman watching can see me in the coaching team and realise that’s an opportunity and they can push for it, saying ‘If she can do it, why can’t I?’,” Taylor said.
“I do hope that it becomes a little more normal and I may be the first [in a franchise role] but I won’t be the last. Coaching is my passion and it’s kind of going down the men’s route, which is really exciting.
“I’ve never had issues in male environments and I enjoy the challenge. You always want to prove that you’re good enough, but that’s the same for any coach going into a new environment.”
The veteran England cricketer, Taylor enjoyed a stellar career, with two 50-over World Cups and women’s 20-20 World Cup in a career where she played 226 matches for England. She recently came out of retirement to play in the Hundred. Taylor will work alongside head coach Paul Farbrace and former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener, who is currently serving as the head coach of the Afghanistan men’s team. The 32-year-old added that she cannot wait to work alongside the star-studded staff.
“It came completely out of the blue and it was an amazing surprise,” she said. “I’ve been counting down the days until I can get to Abu Dhabi and get going.
“I cannot wait. As soon as I found out who the staff was, that made it even more exciting and it was a lightbulb moment that I would be stupid to miss out on the opportunity. I’ve got so much to learn, they’ve probably got so much to tell me and I’m very much going to be a sponge. I’ll have to be.
“I’m going to sit there with a notebook and write as much as I can down. They know that as well, and will teach me so much as I’m at the start of my coaching career.”
Team Abu Dhabi boast of some prominent international names including Universe Boss, Chris Gayle and Liam Livingstone, along with Colin Ingram, Paul Stirling, Phil Salt among others.
Team Abu Dhabi squad Chris Benjamin, Danny Briggs, Ahmed Daniyal, Fidel Edwards, Muhammad Farazuddin, Chris Gayle, Colin Ingram, Marchant de Lange, Liam Livingstone, Obed Mccoy, Rohan Mustafa, Naveen-ul-Haq, Phil Salt, Paul Stirling