England stars stunned by Taylor retirement


England players of the past and present have been among those to express shock and sympathy following James Taylor's retirement due to a serious heart condition.

Taylor represented England in seven Tests and 27 one-day internationals, but had been expected to make many more appearances at the highest level in the coming years - having featured in all four five-day matches on the recent tour of South Africa.

However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Tuesday that the batsman's career had been brought to an unexpected end at the age of 26.

Having withdrawn from Nottinghamshire's fixture against Cambridge MCCU last week with what was believed to be a viral condition, Taylor underwent scans that revealed he was suffering from Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Arrhythmia.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow, who played on England Performance Programme and Lions teams with Taylor before both men graduated to full international honours, tweeted: "To say I'm gutted is an understand! A team mate, room mate and one of the best! Your a tough buggar buddy, stay strong! @jamestaylor20."

Stuart Broad, a team-mate of Taylor for Nottinghamshire and England, also paid tribute on Twitter, writing: "Gutted for @jamestaylor20. Cruel news but he's one of the strongest guys I know with a brilliant family around him #cricketfamily."

Former Notts and England spinner Graeme Swann tweeted: "Devastated for my mate @jamestaylor20 having to retire. No one has ever worked harder to achieve his dreams. One of the good guys."

Michael Clarke, the former captain of Australia, tweeted: "Really feel for @jamestaylor20 Absolutely devastated for you."

In addition, Taylor received a message of support from Fabrice Muamba, who retired from football aged 24 due to a heart condition, having collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham.

Muamba sent a tweet to Taylor, which read: "Having life is a great option.Retirement is inevitable but for some of us it's just earlier than expected.Enjoy life."

Ex-England skipper Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports News: "He [Taylor] is a fantastic cricketer, top guy, worked so hard - he could have become a fantastic England player in the future. At 26, that's what hurts you, this is when he's right at the peak of his powers.

"He's worked so hard to get back in the side and now he's got back into the side, he's been hit by the hardest of blows really and his dream of playing cricket for England has come to an abrupt end.

"It's such sad news. But the most important thing always in these situations is his health and making sure he gets that right.

"The PCA [Professional Cricketers' Association] are absolutely brilliant. He won't just be cast into the wilderness, he will be looked after."