Sarah Taylor: ‘I should be just seen as a coach and not a woman coach’

Treading a new ground with her appointment as assistant coach of Team Abu Dhabi for a men’s T10 league, former England player Sarah Taylor says she doesn’t want to be known as the “last woman to do anything in franchise” cricket.

Widely regarded as one of the best wicket-keepers, Taylor, in a breakthrough moment in men’s professional franchise cricket, has been named assistant coach of Team Abu Dhabi for the Abu Dhabi T10 league, beginning November 19.

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“I am hoping that this is a step forward now. Women will get jobs and roles like this and it will seem as extremely normal. Yeah, women can get these roles, and hopefully, it continues. I should be just seen as a coach and not a woman coach,” Taylor said during an interaction on Sunday.

“It means a lot. I was shocked to kind of get the opportunity. I have been counting down the days till I am able to fly to Abu Dhabi and get going. I want to be known as a good coach.”

Taylor, who will work alongside head coach Paul Farbrace and former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener at Team Abu Dhabi, said that working as a specialist coach at English county Sussex was a great learning experience.

“Yeah, Sussex (was) such a good learning curve for me. The way I am dealing with people. That’s my first proper coaching. I have learnt a lot from that. I have had very good mentors in that regard and they have backed me.”

“Who knows what this is going to hold for me in the future. But I am loving every single minute of it, I am going to embrace it. Hope I am not the last woman to do anything in the franchise game really,” the 32-year-old said.

Taylor, who is following in the footsteps of Julia Price, who donned the role of Brisbane Heat’s assistant coach in December 2019, said she “would like to see women’s coaches come up having aspirations to work in the men’s game.”

“Myself and Julie (Price) are there, and I hope there will be many more,” she further said.

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About athletes speaking about mental health and taking breaks from the game, the former England cricketer said she was glad that more and more people are willing to “step away” and return stronger.

“I mean a lot more players are willing to speak up. Even the likes of Ben Stokes, he is a mammoth name in the sport, he has stepped away for a little bit. I think it is becoming more normalised. I am glad that people are stepping up and hope it becomes a little bit normal,” she added.

Taylor said coaching was her passion and she was excited about the role. “Coaching is my passion… my dream. Coaching is where I want to continue,” she said, adding that she hoped to learn from the stint in the T10 league in Abu Dhabi.

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