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The incredible career of New Zealand legend Ross Taylor is being celebrated across the cricket world after confirmation the 37-year-old is set to retire from the sport.
Taylor said the two-Test series against Bangladesh starting on Saturday will be his last in Test whites and he will call stumps on his career after the one-day internationals against Australia and the Netherlands in February and March.
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The 37-year-old has been a mainstay in the New Zealand batting order since making his debut in 2006, amassing a plethora of records and achievements, notably the most runs by a New Zealander (18,074) and most appearances (445).
"It's been an amazing journey and I feel incredibly fortunate to have represented my country for as long as I have," he said.
Today I'm announcing my retirement from international cricket at the conclusion of the home summer, two more tests against Bangladesh, and six odi’s against Australia & the Netherlands. Thank you for 17 years of incredible support. It’s been an honour to represent my country #234 pic.twitter.com/OTy1rsxkYp
— Ross Taylor (@RossLTaylor) December 29, 2021
"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.
"But all good things must come to an end and the timing feels right for me."
Black Caps coach Gary Stead said Taylor would undoubtedly bow out as one of New Zealand's greats.
"Ross has always been a hugely respected member of the side and we're thankful for his contributions to the Black Caps 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.
"Seeing him hit the winning runs in Southampton to help win our first ICC World title is a moment I will never forget and I'm sure it's the same for many of the fans."
Ross Taylor tributes pour in from around the world
News of the popular batter's impending retirement led to an outpouring of tributes from fans on social media.
I was a fan of your batting when you played for DD , I still remember your century against Pakisthan in 2011 World Cup , it was one of the finest knock ❤️.
Lots of love From 🇮🇳❤️.
Happy Retirement Legend 🇳🇿❤️.#RossTaylor https://t.co/Y2f6oLnZxe pic.twitter.com/hGbMLxgIPe
— Nancy Mogudni (@preetham_MB) December 30, 2021
“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."
Tributes have flowed for Ross Taylor, who will bow out from international cricket at the end of the summer 👇https://t.co/GZ5Oqx2AaM
— ICC (@ICC) December 30, 2021
Can't lie I'm really going to miss watching Ross Taylor in international cricket, especially considering that the Blackcaps are coming here in 2022. Just the embodiment of class both on and off the field, it's going to be really strange not seeing his name on the teamsheet 👑🇳🇿
— The County Cricket Podcast (@TheCountyCrick2) December 30, 2021
Got to love Ross Taylor. Sad to see him to https://t.co/2nYWuzYnf8
— Joe Lee-Dowd (@Jleedowd) December 30, 2021
— CRICKET VIDEOS 🏏 (@AbdullahNeaz) December 30, 2021
🏏 Most Test runs for NZ
🏏 Most ODI runs for NZ
🏏 Most appearances for NZ
🏏 First player in cricket history to play 100 internationals in all three formats
Ross Taylor has announced this summer will be his last for the Blackcaps.
What a career. pic.twitter.com/CZy11OcKHz
— bet365 AUS (@bet365_aus) December 30, 2021
Nothing brings me more joy than the fact that Ross Taylor can go out on his own terms, with a farewell summer in the country that loves and respects him so much. What an absolute legend of cricket and New Zealand sport.
— Lily Franklin (@lilyffranklin13) December 30, 2021
Happy Retirement Legend 🙏 We Love You Ross Taylor From India♥️🇮🇳🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/d7jeLcFmwS
— BASKAR V (@BASKARV83435140) December 30, 2021
Cricket farewells 'world-class player'
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, unavailable for the Bangladesh series while he rehabilitates from an elbow injury, said Taylor had given his all to the New Zealand team over the years.
"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," Williamson said.
"We've shared some pretty cool moments together - most recently the World Test Championship final, which was obviously really special."
Taylor's achievements include most Test runs by a New Zealander (7,584), most ODI runs (8,581) most ODI 100s for New Zealand (21) and most 100s in all formats (40).
He is also the first player from any country to make 100 international appearances in each of the three formats.
Taylor also holds the record for the highest Test score in Australia by a visiting batter (290 at Perth in 2015).
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