Former England star Sarah Taylor named men’s assistant coach of Team Abu Dhabi

Former England star Sarah Taylor has been named the new assistant coach of Team Abu Dhabi in an inspirational move that could lead to more women working in men’s cricket.

Taylor won two ODI World Cups and the 2009 T20 World Cup as she cemented her place as one of the best wicketkeepers in the sport’s history.

The 32-year-old played for Sussex since her debut in 2004 and worked with the men’s team as a specialist skills coach – and her announcement is another monumental moment as Taylor continues to break boundaries.

Julia Price became the first female coach in Australia’s Big Bash League when she joined Brisbane Heat in 2019, and Taylor hopes young girls around the world are inspired and influenced by her actions.

“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 and Lance Klusener ahead of the upcoming Abu Dhabi T10 competition, which begins November 19th.

While he is currently involved in the T20 World Cup, England’s Liam Livingstone has been signed as the franchise’s ‘Icon Player’ this season, while West Indies legend Chris Gayle is also in the squad.

Taylor retired from cricket in 2019 but made her return this year to play for the Welsh Fire in The Hundred. While she is open to returning to action and putting on the gloves, the opportunity proved too good to turn down.

“It came completely out of the blue and it was an amazing surprise,” she added.

“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.”

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