BULAWAYO – Cricket legend Brendan Taylor announced Sunday that Zimbabwe’s fifth one day international with Ireland on Monday will be the last time he plays for his nation.
The 34-year-old batsman is retiring after 17 years representing Zimbabwe.
Taylor made his debut for in 2004 and rose to become one of the mainstays of the side. He did his best work in one-day international cricket, scoring 6,677 runs from 204 matches, which leaves him tantalisingly close to becoming Zimbabwe’s highest run-getter in the format. He already stands leagues ahead of any Zimbabwean with 11 ODI hundreds.
Writing on Instagram and Twitter, Taylor said: “It’s with a heavy heart that I’m announcing that tomorrow is my last game for my beloved country. Seventeen years of extreme highs and extreme lows and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
“It’s taught me to be humble, to always remind myself how lucky I was to be in the position I was in for so long. To wear the badge with pride and leave everything on the field.”
If Taylor scores 69 on Monday, he will reach 10,000 international runs across formats.
In no time after making his bow in 2004, Taylor became the backbone of the Zimbabwe side in all formats of the game. He excelled in ODI cricket where he score 6,677 runs in 204 matches.
He first captained the team between 2011 and 2014, before stepping in to fill the role again earlier this year. He was Zimbabwe’s leading run-scorer at the 2015 World Cup, but left the national set-up following the tournament for a three-season spell as a Kolpak signing in English county cricket with Nottinghamshire.
He walks away with 2,320 runs from 24 Test matches and 934 runs from 45 T20Is.
“My goal was to always leave the team in better position as to when I first arrived back in 2004. I hope I have done that,” Taylor said.
“To the fans back home who have been so loyal to me over the years, I’m eternally grateful. Finally to my wife Kelly Anne Taylor, and our four beautiful boys. You have meant everything to me on this journey and it wouldn’t have been possible without you. No more airport heartaches. I look forward to our next chapter.”