Ex-England batsman's book on heart horror

Former England batsman James Taylor has released a book, opening up about his heart condition

Former England batsman James Taylor has revealed the terrifying extent of the heart problems which had forced his retirement at the age of 26.

Taylor's career ended in 2016 when he was diagnosed with a serious but previously undiagnosed heart condition which could have proven fatal.

He has written about the day his symptoms came on in dramatic fashion in his autobiography, 'Cut Short', which is being serialised in England's Daily Telegraph.

Having pulled out of a match against Cambridge University, feeling ill and with a rapidly beating heart, he headed home to Nottingham and ended the day in hospital with a crushing diagnosis.

"Just a few weeks earlier, I'd been scoring runs and taking miracle catches for England in South Africa. Now I was a hunched, grey, hollow figure on the verge of death," Taylor wrote of his deteriorating condition.

"By 4pm, I was feeling progressively worse and getting pains down my left arm. Looking back, it's obvious - it's the sign of a heart attack. I shouldn't have been alive at that stage. With my body concentrating all it had on my vital organs, my stomach was already giving up."

Having been assessed by doctors, the extent of Taylor's problems were put in horrifying perspective.

"The machine said it was pounding at 265 beats a minute.

"When the heart is under stress it releases an enzyme called troponin. Under no stress, the amount of troponin in the blood would be zero. My level was 42,000. Unsurprisingly, at that point, they concluded I'd had a severe heart attack.

"My sheer fitness had saved me. Anyone else wouldn't have had a chance.

"The day, my heart, the future - there were so many unanswered questions, so much to deal with. It was the first time I'd ever felt real fear - raw, unbridled fear."