New Zealand veteran batsman Ross Taylor has decided to call it quits from international cricket after the completion of New Zealand’s home season.
The 37-year-old declared on Thursday (December 30) that the next two-Test series against Bangladesh will be his final in the New Zealand whites, putting an end to uncertainty about his playing future. He will miss the next Tests against South Africa and will play six One-Day Internationals against Australia and the Netherlands later this summer.
Taylor will retire from cricket after the ODIs in Australia and then the three ODIs against the Netherlands at home in April, while the two Tests against Bangladesh will be his final red ball appearances.
The Kiwis player stated that strict COVID-19 protocols and the quarantine requirements were two of the key reasons that instigated the decision of his retirement.
“That’s a big thing that’s been going through my mind the last couple of weeks. The Australian series is really close and with quarantine and coming back, it’s probably going to be one side that goes to Australia and the Test side will stay behind,” Ross Taylor said. “That’s what made the decision a lot easier. It would have been nice to play against South Africa, but Australia’s a place I’ve always enjoyed … and finishing my career playing one-day cricket which is probably my best format.
Taylor will play his farewell Test, which will also be his 112th Test appearance, at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Taylor has a slew of New Zealand records after being the first international player to appear in 100 games in each of the three formats. He has the most runs (18,074), appearances (445), and hundreds (40) of any New Zealand player across all forms.
“It’s nice to finish on your own terms … it’s the right time for me and my family. At the same time, I’ve still got some cricket to play. In an ideal world, I would have played and then [announced] it at the end, but at this level, you can’t do that.”
Taylor pointed out that he took the decision after putting a lot of thought into it. “It’s something that I’ve thought about for a long time, it’s not a decision I’ve made in the last couple of weeks. It’s nice to have a bit of clarity and finish on your own terms. I think it’s just the right time for me and my family,” he said.
“It (a farewell tour) doesn’t sit that well with me but I know it needs to be done. I would have like to have just pulled the stumps but it gives my family and friends and fans a chance to come and watch me for one last time.”
Taylor, who made his one-day international debut against the West Indies in Napier in March 2006, is New Zealand’s highest run-getter in Tests, with 7584 runs so far, and also has the most runs (18074) in all formats.
“After my first Test series I thought that was me done, so I’ve done alright since then,” Ross Taylor said reflecting on his 16-year journey.
“I always thought I could play one-day cricket, I wasn’t [100 per cent] on whether I’d be a good Test player or not, but I worked hard at that and I think that’s probably my greatest achievement. I could have just smacked it and averaged 30-odd but I changed my game for the team, I don’t think many people would have been able to move their game in that direction and I’m happy I made that decision.”