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ICC World Cup: Brendan Taylor hopes to end Zimbabwe career on a high

Top batsman Brendan Taylor will be playing his last game for Zimbabwe when his side faces India in their last World Cup Pool B game at the Seddon Park on Saturday. Taylor has signed a three-year Kolpak deal with English county Nottinghamshire, which makes him ineligible to play for Zimbabwe while that contract is in effect

Auckland: Top Zimbabwe wicketkeeper-batsman Brendan Taylor could be featuring in his last game for his country when his side faces India in their last World Cup Pool B game at the Seddon Park on Saturday.

Taylor has signed a three-year Kolpak deal with Nottinghamshire, subject to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) approval, which makes him ineligible to play for Zimbabwe while that contract is in effect.

Brendan TaylorZimbabwe batsman Brendan Taylor celebrates his century at the Bellerive Oval ground during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Pool B match against Ireland in Hobart on March 7. Pic/AFP

The Kolpak deal allows English county cricket clubs to employ the services of a multitude of overseas cricketers. Under the Kolpak ruling citizens of countries that have signed European Union Association Agreements have the same right to freedom of work and movement within the EU as EU citizens. African, Caribbean and Pacific (APC) Group of States have also signed the agreement.

His availability for the county team will only be confirmed after the ongoing quadrennial event. However, he has left the door ajar for playing for Zimbabwe again after the expiry of the three-year contract, but could also go on to turn up in England colours.

Terming the decision as one of the biggest he has had to take, the 29-year-old who has been Zimbabwe’s middle-order mainstay for a long time, said he feels sad leaving his national team but added it was a decision taken for his family.

"It's been one of the biggest decisions I've had to make; in fact the biggest decision," Taylor was quoted as saying by espncricinfo on Thursday.

"I've always been very passionate about playing for Zimbabwe, I still am. I sat down with my wife and we decided to make this decision together. I feel very sad about it but at the same time very excited to be a part of one of the better county sides in England.

“They've welcomed me with open arms and I'm looking forward to cementing a good relationship with them over the next three years,” he said.

Taylor has played 23 Tests and 26 T20Is. The match against India will be his 167th ODI. He has 5120 ODI runs and 1493 Test runs, both at an average of 34.

'Lucky to have donned Zimbabwe jersey'

Ahead of his last match in a Zimbabwe shirt, veteran batsman Brendan Taylor on Friday said that he is lucky to have represented his country on the world stage but is sad that his international career is coming to an end.

Taylor has signed a three-year Kolpak deal with Nottinghamshire, subject to England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) approval, which makes him ineligible to play for Zimbabwe while that contract is in place.

Reflecting on his 11-year-old international career, Taylor said, “It's been an enjoyable 11 years that I have been extremely grateful for. Every player's dream is to represent their country and I've been lucky enough to do that.”

“Sad for me is that it'll be ending but I'm very proud to be a Zimbabwean. I am very proud to represent my country on a great stage tomorrow to finish up and hopefully end on a high note.”

Taylor will play his last international match against India in a World Cup Pool B match at the Eden Park here on Saturday.

Speaking about his decision to get into county cricket, Taylor said it was a tough one which was arrived at after consultations with his family.

“It hasn't been an easy decision to make. International cricket has always been the pinnacle for me but it is something that I discussed with my family and my wife. All players tend to try and maximise a little bit and when you've got kids at home, you want to try and make sure they have got the best sort of upbringing that you can give them. All these sort of favoured the decision. It's a three-year decision,” he said.

The 29-year-old has played 166 One-Day Internationals (ODI) scoring 5120 runs at an average of 34.13. He hit seven centuries and 32 half-centuries in his career as a wicketkeeper-batsman with a highest of 145 not out.

On his most memorable memory while representing Zimbabwe, Taylor said, “There are some fond memories but it would probably be our first Test win against Bangladesh that would top the charts.”

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