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A Taylor-made world cricket title

Ross Taylor. PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

JOHN LAZO-RON
[email protected]

Having suffered heartbreaking world cup finals experiences, Black Caps veteran Ross Taylor finally has a world title under his belt, and mum and dad couldn’t be more proud.

Neil and Anne Taylor were celebrating in their Masterton home, as many Kiwis around the world would have been, in the early hours of Thursday morning after their son hit the winning boundary to secure New Zealand’s first cricket world title.

The Black Caps won the inaugural World Test Championship final, toppling pre-match favourites India by eight wickets in a heavily rain-interrupted match in Southampton, England.

Neil, who jumped out of his seat when the game was won, said he was very proud of Ross and the rest of the side after having watched them go through the past two World Cup finals winless.

“We are elated with the efforts by Ross and the team,” he said.

“Like most Kiwis, we were devastated for the team [in previous World Cups]; but we are incredibly happy for them that they have been able to see the culmination of their work since the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.

“We, along with the rest of the family and his late grandma especially, have raised Ross to understand the importance of humility, and losing and winning with grace.

“But I jumped out of my seat and had a bit of a cheer. It was hard not to.”

Neil said Ross spoke with his mother shortly after the match and shared his gratitude for the support, encouragement, and prayers from his family.

Ross Taylor with the ICC trophy.

Rated one of the most underrated but admired players around the world, the Masterton-born batsman had been through a lot throughout his international career, losing the captaincy of the national side back in 2012.

However, he has managed to keep his two feet firmly on the ground throughout the adversity, which Neil said came down to his family values and Samoan upbringing.

“Like I mentioned earlier, his family, particularly mum and grandma, have always been big on remaining humble, staying grounded, treating everyone with respect and working hard.

“These values are also a huge part of his Samoan culture, and I’m sure have played a vital role throughout his career.”

Neil said he and Anne were looking forward to seeing their son in the near future and to celebrate his world conquering feat.

“We look forward to celebrating with him when time, and covid-19, allows.”

It was fitting that Ross finished the game off alongside captain Kane Williamson.

The pair shared an unbeaten 96-run stand to put New Zealand’s hands firmly on the mace.

It was a timely effort of patience and experience as the pair weathered India’s spin and pace challenge early on in the innings, and after losing openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway.

The Black Caps are hailed as the nice guys of cricket, so commentator Simon Doull couldn’t have said it better when he said, “living proof that sometimes nice guys do finish first”.

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