James Taylor appointed England's independent selector

Cricket
James Taylor in action for England
James Taylor in action for England

England have named former batsman James Taylor as their full-time independent selector.

Former Nottinghamshire star Taylor was forced to retire prematurely in 2016 due to a serious heart condition.

The 28-year-old will work with national selector Ed Smith, who was appointed in April after James Whitaker left the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in a restructure.

Smith and Taylor join England coach Trevor Bayliss in completing England's new-look selection panel.

"I'm thrilled to be taking up this role with the ECB and once again supporting the England set-up," said Taylor.

"This is an important role and it's a huge honour to be appointed.

"I have always been deeply passionate about the game and will bring all of my energy and experience - from the Lions, domestic cricket and the international Test and white-ball game - to this task.

"I'm excited to be given the opportunity to work alongside Ed Smith and can't wait to get started."

Taylor was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy in 2016, with the condition immediately ending his career after eight years. He made 34 international appearances including seven Tests.

Similar to the condition of ex-Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed during a match at Tottenham in 2012, Taylor's health issues cut his career short just when he was approaching his prime.

Now though, after stints of commentary work and as part of England's scouting network, Taylor has assumed a more senior role in the England set-up.

National selector Smith hailed Taylor's elevation, insisting England will benefit hugely from his addition.

"We are excited that James is joining us as a full-time England selector for the men's game," he said.

"He is highly determined, with a deep knowledge of the contemporary game at domestic and international level. He was the outstanding candidate.

"James' early retirement has brought a unique opportunity for the game.

"He can bring his recent experiences and insights to selection as we seek to identify the best players to drive forward England's teams in all formats.

"I know that James wants to channel the dedication that shaped his playing career into the new challenge of talent ID and selection."

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