Former England wicketkeeper, Sarah Taylor, has been announced as the new assistant coach of Team Abu Dhabi as she continues to break boundaries for women working in men’s cricket.
Regarded as one of the best wicketkeepers in the history of cricket, Taylor won two ODI World Cups with England and the T20 World Cup in 2009.
Earlier this year, Taylor revealed she would work with English county side Sussex as a specialist skills coach and her new role is yet another breakthrough moment in the game.
The 32-year-old follows in the footsteps of Julia Price, who became the first female coach in Australia’s Big Bash League for the Brisbane Heat in 2019.
Speaking about her appointment, Taylor said she hopes young girls around the world can take inspiration from her.
“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?” she told Abu Dhabi newspaper The National.
“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.”
Taylor will work alongside head coach Paul Farbrace ahead of the upcoming Abu Dhabi T10 competition, which gets underway on November 19th.
England’s Liam Livingstone, who is currently part of the men’s World T20 squad, has been signed as the franchise’s ‘Icon Player’ this season, while West Indies star Chris Gayle is also in the squad.
The wicketkeeper retired from cricket in 2019 but made her return this year to play for the Welsh Fire in The Hundred. While Taylor said she remained open to more playing opportunities, this coaching role was something she couldn’t turn down.
”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.”