Belfast, Sep 13 (IANS): One of Zimbabwe's best-known cricketers Brendan Taylor has decided to call it a day, with the 35-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman announcing that the third One-day International against Ireland here later on Monday will be his last cricketing assignment for his country.
Eighteen years old when he first represented Zimbabwe in an ODI against Sri Lanka in 2004, Taylor has established himself as one of Zimbabwe's finest-ever players in the 17 years since, playing 283 internationals across all formats. Only Grant Flower (288) and Hamilton Masakadza (313) have played more matches for Zimbabwe.
He goes into his final match with a chance to make history by becoming Zimbabwe's greatest ever run-scorer in ODI cricket -- the format where he has left a huge imprint.
He currently has 6667 ODI runs to his name, 112 short of Andy Flower's national record 6786. If he breaks the record, it will take him to 12 centuries in the format, which would be five clear of the next best Zimbabwean, Alistair Campbell.
Taylor announced his retirement plans on Instagram.
"It's with a heavy heart that I'm announcing that tomorrow (Monday) is my last game for my beloved country," he wrote. "17 year's of extreme highs and extreme lows and I wouldn't change it for the world. It's taught me to humble, to always remind myself how lucky I was to be in the position I was in for so long. To wear the badge with pride and leave everything on the field.
"My goal was to always leave the team in better position as to when I first arrived back in 2004, I hope I have done that."
Taylor went on to thank Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), fans, teammates past and present, family and friends, and signed off with a special note recognising the invaluable role his wife and children have played in his cricketing journey.
"Finally to my wife @tkellyanne and our four beautiful boy's (sic). You have meant everything to me on this journey and it wouldn't have been possible without you. No more airport heartaches. I look forward to our next chapter. I love you all very much," said Taylor.
Taylor also played 34 Tests, scoring 2320 runs at an average of 36.25, with his highest being 171 runs.