Cre­mer de­lighted to have Tay­lor back

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Mehluli Sibanda Se­nior Sports Re­porter

ZIM­BABWE na­tional cricket team coach, Heath Streak and his cap­tain Graeme Cre­mer have ex­pressed their de­light at the re­turn of for­mer cap­tain Brendan Tay­lor who was play­ing county cricket for Not­ting­hamshire in Eng­land since 2015.

Streak said Tay­lor’s vast knowl­edge of the game and his back­ing of Cre­mer as a for­mer skip­per is cru­cial to Zim­babwe’s suc­cess.

“I am elated to have Brendan back in Zim­babwe. His se­nior­ity and ex­pe­ri­ence will be highly val­ued for the Chevrons and his sup­port of Graeme Cre­mer as a for­mer cap­tain is key to our suc­cess, he brings sta­bil­ity and the fact that he can keep is added bonus,’’ said Streak.

Cre­mer said it was great to have Tay­lor back and the for­mer cap­tain will be an im­mense in­clu­sion to the team. The cur­rent skip­per in­di­cated that he has al­ways turned to Tay­lor for ad­vice since he has led the na­tional team be­fore.

“It’s good to fi­nally get him back, it will be a good ad­di­tion to the team, he will be an as­set like he did be­fore, I am re­ally ex­cited. He has al­ways been re­ally sup­port­ive, he is ex­pe­ri­enced, I al­ways con­tact him to get his views and it’s very handy to have some­one that you can turn to. We are good friends, it’s quite a good re­la­tion­ship that we have that will help the team,’’ Cre­mer said.

Not­ting­hamshire an­nounced last Thurs­day that they had re­leased Tay­lor back to Zim­babwe with im­me­di­ate ef­fect. On the same day, Zim­babwe Cricket re­leased a state­ment stat­ing that they had con­tracted Tay­lor to play in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic cricket in the coun­try. In­ves­ti­ga­tions by this pub­li­ca­tion have re­vealed that the 31-year-old has been handed a four-year deal by ZC.

Tay­lor turned his back on Zim­babwe soon af­ter rep­re­sent­ing the coun­try at the 2015 World Cup staged in Aus­tralia and New Zealand. The right handed bats­man had scored 433 runs at the global show­piece which was a record for Zim­babwe at any World Cup. He scored back to back hun­dreds against Ire­land and In­dia at the tour­na­ment.

Be­fore his early re­tire­ment at the age of 29, Tay­lor had played 23 Tests, 167 One Day In­ter­na­tion­als and 26 T20Is since he made his in­ter­na­tional de­but against Sri Lanka in 2004. Tay­lor posted on so­cial me­dia site Twit­ter that he had now com­mit­ted to fin­ish off his cricket ca­reer in Zim­babwe.

“Just to clear the air, I am re­turn­ing to rep­re­sent my coun­try again af­ter 3 years and this time I plan to fin­ish my ca­reer with @ZimCrick­etv,’’ posted Tay­lor last Fri­day.

Also on the way is pace bowler Kyle Jarvis whom ZC have of­fered a three-year con­tract. Jarvis turned his back on Zim­babwe in Au­gust 2013 and has been play­ing for English county side Lan­cashire on a Kol­pak con­tract.

Tay­lor and Jarvis are ex­pected to make their in­ter­na­tional cricket ac­tion when Zim­babwe take on West Indies in two Tests at Queens Sports Club in Bu­l­awayo at the end of next month.

With Zim­babwe hav­ing to go through the qual­i­fiers in or­der to make it to the 2019 World Cup in Eng­land, ZC are go­ing all out to en­sure that they se­cure the ser­vices of key play­ers who had turned their backs on the coun­try. Also be­ing tar­geted for a pos­si­ble in­ter­na­tional cricket come­back is Sean Ervine who has not played for Zim­babwe since 2004.

The na­tional team starts camp on Tues­day ahead of three lim­ited overs fix­tures against Nether­lands at the end of the month with Tay­lor likely to play against the Dutch at Harare Sports Club should Streak feel that he re­quires some game time.

Graeme Cre­mer

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