New Zealand all-rounder Bruce Taylor passed away on Saturday at Hutt Hospital in Wellington at the age of 77 years. He was battling a prolonged illness. The veteran underwent a leg amputation in March 2016 a part of his treatment for gangrene.
“NZC is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of NZ all-rounder, Bruce Taylor, aged 77. In his 30 Tests, Bruce was a force of nature & remains the only player in the world to have scored a century & taken a five-for on Test debut. Our thoughts are with his family & close friends,” the Blackcaps tweeted mourning the death of the former player.
New Zealand cricket’s famed genius player is the first and the only cricketer in the history of Test cricket to hit a century and take a five-wicket haul on his debut. He achieved the feat was while playing against India at the Eden Gardens during the 1964-65 New Zealand’ tour of India.
In his career-defining debut match, he scored 105 runs while clinching five wickets for 86 runs, establishing himself as one of the finest all-rounders of New Zealand during his time. Before his memorable Test start, Taylor had an experience of only three first-class games.
Bruce Taylor represented New Zealand from 1965 to 1973 in 30 Test matches and 2 ODIs. The all-rounder scored 898 runs at an average of 20.40 while taking 111 wickets in the Test matches.
Apart from international cricket, Taylor played 141 first-class matches for Canterbury and Wellington. He scored 4,579 runs and clinched 422 wickets.
His finest performance was in in the 1971-72 West Indies tour. Taylor bagged 27 wickets in four matches at 17.70. Wisden described his performance as“Tight control allied to a high action enabled him to extract any bounce going and there was no greater trier in the entire New Zealand party.”
He announced his retirement in 1973, the year when he played his last Test match. Taylor later joined as a selector for the national teams.