England batsman James forced to retire from cricket at 26 due to serious cardiac condition
London: Nottinghamshire and England batsman James Taylor has been forced to retire at the age of just 26 because of a "very serious" heart condition, his county announced on yesterday.
England batsman James Taylor during a practice session at Kingsmead in Durban, South Africa last year. Pic/Getty Images
Taylor, who won the last of his seven caps in England's most recent Test against South Africa at Centurion three months ago, withdrew from Nottinghamshire's opening and ongoing County Championship match at home to Surrey because of illness. The Midlands county announced on its website yesterday that "specialist scans revealed yesterday (Monday) that the 26-year-old has the very serious heart condition, ARVC (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Arrhythmia)."
Taylor, whose condition requires surgery, told his Twitter followers: "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."
His diagnosis is similar to that of former Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba, whose career was cut short after he collapsed on the pitch in 2012. England and Wales Cricket Board director Andrew Strauss, Taylor's first England Test captain, said: "It is both shocking and saddening to hear that James' career has been cut short in such a sudden and unexpected manner."
James Taylor posted this picture of him in hospital on Instagram yesterday
Taylor's absence from Nottinghamshire's first-class match against a Cambridge student team last week was put down to a viral condition. Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell said no one at Trent Bridge had any idea about the severity of Taylor's condition. "Myself and all of James' teammates and colleagues are terribly sad to hear this news, which comes as a big shock to us all," Newell said.
Recent months had witnessed some of Taylor's best international performances, including impressive displays as a close-in fielder. Although his seven Tests, in which he averaged a modest 26, did not yield a hundred, with his top score of 76 coming against Pakistan in Sharjah in November last year. Taylor also made 27 ODI appearances, averaging 42.23. His first-class career saw Taylor score more than 9,000 runs, at an average of over 46, including 20 hundreds.