Ross ‘Taylor-made’ for Caribbean Premier League

The former Black Caps captain, part of the side that reached successive ICC Cricket World Cups semi-finals in 2007 (in the Caribbean) and 2011, as well as the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2009, has a career strike-rate of 142.79 in the shortest form of the game. He has been a fixture in the New Zealand side for seven years and has proved himself a world-class performer in all formats of the game.

Taylor can also lay claim to the fastest Test hundred in his country’s history, reaching three figures against Australia in Hamilton from only 81 balls in 2010.

Among current Black Caps players, no-one can match his tally of eight hundreds in Tests and seven three-figure scores in One-Day Internationals.

Only four players in Black Caps history can better his total of Test hundreds — Martin Crowe (17), John Wright (12), Nathan Astle (11) and Stephen Fleming (nine) — while his haul in ODIs places him third on his country’s list, with only Astle (16) and Fleming (eight) scoring more.

Only 29 years old, Taylor has captained New Zealand in 13 Tests, 20 ODIs and 13 Twenty20 Internationals and Caribbean fans will be well aware of his quality in the shortest form of the game as he blazed an unbeaten 62 from just 40 balls against the West Indies in the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

His ability to lead from the front was illustrated by his superb double of 142 and 74 in a Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo last November, a performance that inspired New Zealand to a series-levelling win.

That batting power has ensured Taylor has been an ever-present figure in the Indian Premier League since its inception in 2008, with spells at Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils and, for this year, the Pune Warriors.

Reacting to his confirmation for the CPL, Taylor said he was delighted to be coming to the Caribbean for this tournament.

“I am very excited about playing in the first-ever edition of the Caribbean Premier League. As current World Champions, the West Indies have been a force in T20 cricket over the past couple of years, and CPL should help uncover new international superstars in the mould of Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine. The Caribbean is one of my favourite places to play cricket and with the passionate crowds, the great atmosphere and the athletic style of play, I’m looking forward to being a part of this exciting competition,” he said.

Taylor joins a stellar list of world-class players who have already been confirmed for this year’s inaugural CPL. Already contracted are Australia legends Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist, alongside the six already-confirmed West Indies franchise players in Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels.

Ninety players will be contracted to play in the CPL, with each of the six Franchise teams comprised of 15 players. All teams are required to have a minimum number of local players from that particular country. At least four of them must be under the age of 23, and teams can also field a maximum of four international players. The remainder of the team must consist of regional and/or local players.

Reprinted from Jamaica Observer 

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