Taylor set for Zimbabwe return

Star batsman and former captain cuts ties with Nottinghamshire and signs back on with his country's governing body

Cricket Network

15 September 2017, 02:39 PM AEST

Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor is set to make a return to national colours after being released from his contract with County Championship side Nottinghamshire.

Taylor signed with Notts in March 2015 on a Kolpak deal, in a move that was thought to have effectively ended his international career, however Zimbabwe Cricket today issued a press release saying the batsman had in fact signed a contract with the country's governing body.

As such, the 31-year-old could appear for Zimbabwe against West Indies for the scheduled two-Test series in October.

"Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is pleased to announce that following the end of his contract with and release from English county Nottinghamshire, ZC has formally contracted Brendan Taylor to play domestic and international cricket in and for Zimbabwe," the release read.

In another press release, this one from Notts Cricket, Taylor cited "family reasons" for his desire to return to Zimbabwe, having helped the county club secure trophies this year in both the UK domestic one-day and Twenty20 competitions.

"Winning two trophies, including one at Lord's, has been a real highlight in my career," Taylor said. "I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at Trent Bridge, where I have made some fantastic friends among the dressing room and club staff during the three seasons I have been here.

"But being away from my wife and children has proven to be very difficult for me and I have reached a point in my life where I must consider their needs."

Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak was delighted with the news.

"I am elated to have Brendan Taylor back in a Zimbabwe jersey," Streak said. "We welcome him back and we are looking forward to him making a big difference for us and spending the rest of his playing career in his country of birth."

Taylor's contract with Notts was due to expire at the end of this northern summer, which concludes at the end of September, but the star batsman's immediate availability is a huge boost for Zimbabwe Cricket, who have been showing signs of a turnaround in fortunes following victory away to Sri Lanka in a five-match ODI series, and a nail-biting Test defeat to the same opposition during the same tour.

The ailing cricket nation has also benefited from the April acquisition of former ICC chief financial officer Faisal Hasnain as managing director as they bid to overcome crippling debt, while they recently received a financial and competitive boost with news they would be hosting next year's World Cup qualifiers ahead of the tournament in England in 2019. 

"(ZC are) revamping things to try to give confidence to the playing group that they can look after their finances," limited-overs batsman Solomon Mire told cricket.com.au last month.

"The guys in Zimbabwe have seen the other side, so it's nice to hear things are moving well.

"I'm hoping there will be better incentive to motivate guys coming up, so they can take cricket up full time.

"And there are a lot of (former cricketers) who can come back now they've finished studying – they just need to see the financial benefits."