One of New Zealand’s greatest batters of all time, Ross Taylor will retire from international cricket after the One-Day International series against the Netherlands in April, the 37-year-old confirmed on Thursday (December 30). The right-hander will play his final Test against Bangladesh at Christchurch's Hagley Oval in January.
"It’s been an amazing journey and I feel incredibly fortunate to have represented my country for as long as I have. It’s been such a privilege to play with and against some of the greats of the game and to have created so many memories and friendships along the way," said Taylor.
"But all good things must come to an end and the timing feels right for me. I want to thank my family, friends and all those who have helped me get to this point. There’ll be plenty of time for more thank-yous and reflections later in the season – but for now I want all my energy and focus to be on preparing and performing for the Black Caps this summer.”
Taylor will play the two-match Test series against Bangladesh but won't feature in the subsequent Tests against South Africa in February. The Black Caps are scheduled to play three ODIs against Australia (January 30 - February 5) and the Netherlands (March 29 - April 4), and that's when Taylor will end his illustrious 16-year international career.
Just the second New Zealand player of Samoan descent, Taylor made his international debut in March 2006 through an ODI against West Indies at Napier. Last year, he became the first player to play 100 games in each format and also surpassed Daniel Vettori (438) to become New Zealand's most-capped cricketer.
Taylor, who has so far played 110 Tests, 233 ODIs and 102 T20Is, has scored more than 18000 runs in international cricket and is New Zealand's leading run-scorer in the 50-over format and Test cricket. He was part of the New Zealand squad that defeated India in the grand finale of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship and won their maiden major ICC title. In fact, it was him who hit the winning runs.
"Ross has been at the core of the side for so long and can be extremely proud of having brought the game in this country to a better place. He’s a world class player, our best with the bat over such a long period of time and personally it’s been a pleasure to be involved in so many partnerships with him across the formats," said New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson.
"We’ve shared some pretty cool moments together – most recently the World Test Championship final which was obviously really special. As a senior player and a leader in the group he’s been a fantastic support person for me, especially out there in the field being able to tap into his experience. It’s a really exciting time for Ross when he can reflect on so many amazing moments throughout his career and I know all the guys are also looking forward to sharing the occasions with him as he is such a special player to this team.”
He has so far smashed 40 centuries and his knock of 290 against Australia at Perth in 2015 will always be one of the major highlights of his career. However, Taylor was left out of the 2021 T20 World Cup squad and struggled big time in the two-match Test series in India, managing just 20 runs in four innings.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said: "Ross has always been a hugely respected member of the side and we're thankful for his contributions to the Blackcaps over an incredible career. His skills and temperament as a batsman have been world-class, and his ability to perform at such a high level for so long speaks volumes of his longevity and professionalism.