Thu, Apr 14, 2016 - Page 18 News List

Taylor’s retirement is shocking news, says Ian Bell

Reuters, LONDON

James Taylor’s England teammates reacted with sadness after the diminutive batsman was forced to retire on Tuesday at the age of 26 because of a heart condition.

“It is an immensely sad day. We couldn’t believe it when we were told this morning,” experienced batsman Ian Bell said. “Thoughts are with ‘Titch’ and for a speedy recovery. He is one of the top blokes in English cricket. It is shocking news.”

The 1.65m-tall Taylor, who plays county cricket for Nottinghamshire, withdrew from last week’s game against Cambridge MCCU with what was believed to be a viral infection.

However, scans showed he had a serious heart condition known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

Middle-order batsman Taylor played seven Test matches and 27 one-day internationals for England and captained the side against Ireland in May last year.

England pace bowler Stuart Broad, a county colleague of Taylor’s, described his early retirement as “cruel news.”

“Gutted for @jamestaylor20,” Broad wrote on his Twitter account. “He’s one of the strongest guys I know with a brilliant family around him.”

Jason Roy, one of the standout performers as England reached the final of the World Twenty20 in India earlier this month, called it “heartbreaking news.”

“A seriously talented and hard-working man. Stay strong my buddy, everyone’s with you,” Roy tweeted.

Retired England spinner Graeme Swann also said Taylor was “one of the good guys.”

“Devastated for my mate @jamestaylor20,” Swann tweeted. “No one has ever worked harder to achieve his dreams.”

Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Geoff Boycott also sent Taylor their good wishes.

“Gutted...@jamestaylor20 is one of the great people of our great game.” Vaughan tweeted. “The cricket family will make sure we support his every need.”

Boycott tweeted: “I’m sad to hear the news about @jamestaylor20. I admired your talent and wish you well for your operation and moving forward.”

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