England batsman had been part of the XI in the last Test, will undergo operation for Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Arrhythmia
James Taylor, the England middle-order batsman, has been forced into retirement at the age of 26 with a serious heart condition, it was announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday (April 12). He had played seven Test and 27 One-Day Internationals for England.
Taylor missed Nottinghamshire’s pre-season fixture against Cambridge MCC with what was thought to be a viral condition. But scans revealed he was suffering from a condition known as Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Arrhythmia (ARVC).
Taylor will undergo an operation due to his condition in the coming days.
The batsman tweeted that while his world was “upside down” at the moment, his spirits were still up.
Safe to say this has been the toughest week of my life! My world is upside down. But I'm here to stay and I'm battling on! #lifestooshort 😝🤒— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) April 12, 2016
Andrew Strauss, the England team director, said he was shocked and said the ECB would work with Nottinghamshire to help Taylor come through the difficult period. “It is both shocking and saddening to hear that James’ career has been cut short in such a sudden and unexpected manner,” he said. “Throughout his career, he has constantly impressed with his determination to make the absolute most of his ability, and it is immensely cruel that such a hard working player will be unable to fulfill his great potential in the international arena.
“The ECB will work closely with Nottinghamshire and together we will do everything possible to help James through this difficult period, and aid him in his recovery.”
Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire’s director of cricket, said the batsman was the most hardworking cricketer he has known. "Myself and all of James’ teammates and colleagues are terribly sad to hear this news, which comes as a big shock to us all,” he said. “He is a model professional, the most hardworking I’ve ever known in cricket, making it all the more difficult to accept that his career has been cut short in this way.
“It goes without saying that he has the very best wishes of us all in terms of recovering from his operation, and that we are looking forward to seeing him back at Trent Bridge when he is fit and able.”
Born in Nottingham, the diminutive Taylor – the son of a jockey – made his first-class debut for Leicestershire in 2008 and went on to play his inaugural Test against South Africa at Headingley in 2012.
Recent months had witnessed some of Taylor's best international performances. His seven Tests did not yield a hundred, with his top score of 76 coming against Pakistan in Sharjah in November last year, a series in which he established himself as part of the England Test side. He was thereafter involved in England’s famous 2-1 win in South Africa, playing all four Tests of the series. He made 312 runs in his seven Tests, with 27 One-Day Internationals netting him 887 runs at an average of 42.23 and a strike-rate of 80.12.
In September, he also scored his lone ODI century, against Australia at Old Trafford.
Taylor was prolific at the first-class level, piling up 9306 runs in 139 matches at 46.06 with 20 centuries. His List A record is also stellar, with 5365 runs in 136 matches at an average of 53.11 and a strike-rate of 84.14.