NZ Cricket, Ross Taylor Retirement, Black Caps

Ross Taylor has put an end to the speculation by confirming that this summer will be his last for New Zealand in the black helmet.

The Black Caps’ test and one-day international cricket record scorer announced that two days after the first test against Bangladesh on Mount Maunganui, the boots would hang up at the end of the season.

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Taylor, 37, will play the two-Test series against Bangladesh, but not the subsequent tests against South Africa in February, and complete his glittering Black Caps career in ODIs in Australia and at home against the Netherlands.

That means his farewell fight in black will be on April 4 at Seddon Park in Hamilton, where he lives with his wife Victoria and their three children.

Taylor’s final test will be at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval against Bangladesh, starting on 9 January. That will bring his Test appearances to 112, moving him past Stephen Fleming’s 111 and right with Daniel Vettori at the top of the New Zealand list.

“It has been an amazing journey and I feel incredibly fortunate to have represented my country for as long as I have,” Taylor said in a statement.

“It has been such a privilege to play with and against some of the greats in the game and to have created so many memories and friendships along the way.

“But all good things must have an end, and the timing feels right to me.

“I would like to thank my family, friends and all those who have helped me reach this point.

“There will be plenty of time for more thanks and reflections later in the season – but for now, I want all my energy and focus to be on preparing and performing for the Black Caps this summer.”

Taylor made his Test debut against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2007 and set a New Zealand record of 7584 test runs with an average of 44.87, including 19 centuries, placing him second behind Kane Williamson (24).

In 233 ODIs, Taylor’s 8581 race at 48.2 is also a New Zealand record, as are his 21st centuries, five less than Martin Guptill and Nathan Astle.

In all, Taylor has an overwhelming 18,074 races for her country across 445 appearances.

Taylor reached a career high in June when he hit the winning races to win the Black Caps victory in the preliminary World Test Championship final against India at Southampton.

He and captain Williamson were at the helm at the end as they went one better than the team’s painful almost-miss in the World Cup final against England two years earlier.

Recently, Taylor struggled with a limited build-up in India, scoring 20 runs in four innings in the 1-0 Test series defeat, raising speculation about his immediate future.

Williamson, unavailable for the Bangladeshi series while rehabilitating an elbow injury, said Taylor had given his all to the New Zealand team over the years and wished him good luck with the next two tests.

“Ross has been at the core of the site for so long and can be extremely proud to have brought the game in this country to a better place,” Williamson said.

“He’s a world-class player, our best with the bat over so long, and personally it’s been a pleasure to be involved in so many partnerships with him across the formats.

“We have shared some pretty cool moments together – most recently the final of the World Test Championship, which of course was really special.

“As a senior player and a leader in the group, he has been a great support person for me, especially out there in the field by being able to leverage his experience.

“It’s a really exciting time for Ross where he can reflect on so many amazing moments throughout his career and I know all the guys are also looking forward to sharing the apartments with him as he is such a special player for this team . “

This article was originally published on stuff.co.nz and is reproduced with permission

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