Zimbabwe Cricket Contracts Brendan Taylor

Former captain ends Nottinghamshire contract early to fly back home, set to play for country once again
Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor has been re-contracted with Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), the board announced on Thursday (September 14), and is eligible to play domestic and international cricket in and for Zimbabwe once again. The move came about hours after Taylor ended his contract with the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.

Taylor, the former captain, last played for Zimbabwe in the ICC World Cup 2015, with his final innings a blistering 138 off 110 against India. He is likely to feature in the team once again as early as next month, with Windies slated to tour Zimbabwe in October for a Test series.

“I am elated to have Brendan Taylor back in a Zimbabwe jersey,” said Heath Streak, the Zimbabwe coach. “We welcome him back and we are looking forward to him making a big difference for us and spending the rest of his playing career in his country of birth.”

After the 2015 World Cup, Taylor had moved out of Zimbabwe to take up an offer with Nottinghamshire. He found immediate success there, becoming the club’s first batsman to score centuries in his first two matches (against Loughborough University and Middlesex) upon joining. He had also played a key role in the county’s successful NatWest T20 Blast and Royal London One-Day Cup campaign this year. He made 351 runs in the 20-overs format, including a vital 65 against Birmingham Bears on Finals Day, while stacking up 376 runs in the 50-overs competition.

However, he officially ended his contract with the county ahead of schedule on Thursday, to return to Zimbabwe and spend more time with his wife and children. The 31-year-old’s contract was due to expire at the end of the 2017 season.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Trent Bridge where I have made some fantastic friends among the dressing room and club staff during the three seasons I have been here,” said Taylor, who scored club’s fourth highest List A score of 154 in the quarterfinal win at Somerset. “Winning two trophies for Notts in these past few months, including one at Lord’s, has been a real highlight in my career, and given me moments that I will never forget.

“But being away from my wife and children has proven to be very difficult for me and I have reached a point in my life where I must consider their needs.”

Mick Newell, Nottinghamshire’s director of cricket, said losing a player of Taylor’s ability was naturally disappointing but wished the departing batsman success for the future.

“We are obviously disappointed to lose Brendan given the significant impact he has had, but we also respect his wishes in relation to his family,” said Newell. “I know he has given many members and spectators great pleasure with some of the superb innings he has played and we wish him every future success.”