LONDON: James Taylor, the Nottinghamshire and England batsman, has been forced to retire from cricket with immediate effect after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition.
Taylor originally withdrew from last week’s fixture against Cambridge MCCU with what was believed to be a viral condition. However, specialist scans revealed on Monday that the 26-year-old suffers from ARVC (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Arrhythmia).
Taylor’s diagnosis is similar to that of former footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed on the field during a FA Cup tie between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur in March 2012. The condition will require an operation, which will take place in the coming days.
“Myself and all of James’ team-mates and colleagues are terribly sad to hear this news, which comes as a big shock to us all,” Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire’s director of cricket, said.
“He is a model professional, the most hard-working 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.”
Taylor had long been tipped to make it to the very top of the game, having won the Cricket Writers’ Club Young Player of the Year award in 2009, aged 19. He made his ODI debut in 2011 and played two Tests against South Africa in 2012 but had to wait a few more years to become a regular in the England set-up.
Taylor played the last of his seven Tests at Centurion during England’s victorious 2-1 series win in South Africa in January. He also featured in 27 ODIs, including the 2015 World Cup.
His solitary international hundred came against Australia at Old Trafford in September 2015. Andrew Strauss, the England team director, added: “It is both shocking and saddening to hear that James’ career has been cut short in such a sudden and unexpected manner.
“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 fulfil 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.”