First Woman Coach in Men’s Professional Franchise Cricket – Sarah Taylor

Sarah Jane Taylor, the majestic English wicket-keeper has left now no stone unturned in her marvelous cricketing career. In her 126 ODIs, she put together 2056 runs at a strike rate of 82.3, averaging 38.3. While these stats may not seem very impressive at first glance, they provide sufficient proof to portray how Taylor has been an irreplaceable anchor in the English team, and trust me when I say she has been idolized for her wicket-keeping skills.

Sarah Taylor: ‘Sometimes cricket is the trigger but then sometimes it’s my comfort zone, too.’ Photograph: Anna Gordon/Guardian
Sarah Taylor: ‘Sometimes cricket is the trigger but then sometimes it’s my comfort zone, too.’ Photograph: Anna Gordon/Guardian

 

I’m sure you remember the time in 2015 when Taylor became the first-ever woman to appear in a premier men’s competition. The then 26-year-old was a part of the Northern Districts as their wicket-keeper when they took on Port Adelaide at Salisbury Oval in the South Australia premier men’s competition. While it isn’t new for a woman to play in a men’s team as that’s how most girls grow up playing cricket, it was the first time it was observed internationally and managed to stir opinions in many, most of which were appreciative of the growing inclusive nature of the game.

Now, 6 years later, Taylor has proved once again that cricket is truly everyone’s game. On the 29th of October, 2021, Taylor was announced as an assistant coach in the explosive Abu Dhabi T10 League. She will be working with the head coach, Paul Farbrace for team Abu Dhabi alongside former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener who is currently coaching Afghanistan in the ongoing Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup.

Taylor described this opportunity as a means of inspiring young girls around the world as she said, “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 realize that’s an opportunity and they can push for it, saying ‘If she can do it, why can’t I?’,” said Taylor.

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With the likes of renowned players like Chris Gayle and Liam Livingstone in the Abu Dhabi squad, this is ought to happen as viewers from around the globe would notice her inclusion and acknowledge their female counterparts’ calibers.

Lastly, Taylor expressed that coaching men specifically isn’t that big of a deal for her as she should be seen solely as a player and not a female player as she quoted, “I do hope that it becomes a little more normal and I may be the first 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.”

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