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Rossco earns recognition for his efforts

Ross Taylor plays a shot during the World Test Championship final. PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

CRICKET

CHRIS COGDALE
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Wairarapa’s favourite sporting son Ross Taylor spent Monday celebrating being recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with a glass of wine at a family gathering at his parents-in-law’s home in Hamilton.

The former Black Cap was named a Companion of the Order of New Zealand for services to cricket and Pacific communities, an honour which he said was very humbling.

“A young boy from the ‘Bush’, I only dreamt of playing for Central Districts and New Zealand so to have had the career that I’ve had, I’ve been very lucky,” Taylor said.

The 38-year-old stepped away from international cricket in April after 16 years, having become the first player to play 100 internationals in all three formats, including a record-equalling 112 tests [along with Daniel Vetorri].

Taylor retired as New Zealand’s greatest run-scorer in tests and ODIs. In tests he finished with 7683 runs at an average of 44.66, with 19 centuries, including three double centuries, and a best of 290 at Perth – the highest score by an overseas player in Australia. In ODIs he scored an impressive 8607 runs at 47.55, including 21 centuries, and a top score of 181 not out.

Ross Taylor with his wife Victoria, father Neil, mother Anne and his children Adelaide, Jonty and Mackenzie (L-R) after playing his last international match.

But it was not only in New Zealand where Taylor has made an impact. Taylor, whose mother Anne is Samoan, has travelled to Samoa several times, as well as Papua New Guinea to promote cricket.

“It’s also humbling to get it for the contribution to the Pacific Island community as well. It’s something I’m passionate about and mum will be proud of that side of it.

“I look forward to working in that space a lot more in the years to come.”

He said the award was not only for him but the people who have supported him over many years.

‘My parents [Neil and Anne] are very happy and very proud. They’ve been great support to me throughout my career and guess when things like this come about it’s also a thanks to them and everyone else who has contributed along the way.”

Taylor and his wife Victoria found out about the honour about two months ago, and he reckoned one of the hardest things was to keep it quiet.

“I told mum and dad a couple of weeks ago, and the kids [Mackenzie, Jonty, and Adelaide] I ended up telling them on Thursday.

“When I told them I was retiring and to keep it to themselves that didn’t last long so we learnt from that to try and keep it from them.

“They were very happy. but they still don’t know what it’s all about, but in time the significance of it will be more apparent.”

Taylor has also spent the past few days catching up on sleep having spent much of the nights engrossed in the first test match between his old teammates and England from one his favourite venues where he spent time as a cricket apprentice.

“Lord’s is a pretty special place to play, and I had the privilege of calling that my workplace for six months as an 18-year-old.

“I had a taste of what my family and friends had to go through staying up all hours and having to function during the day as well with only a few hours’ sleep.

“I missed it in different parts. I definitely miss the lunches – they’re pretty famous. I missed playing a little bit, but when Devon Conway was going out to bat at 2-2, I didn’t miss that.”

As for the Black Caps effort, which resulted in a five-wicket loss, Taylor thought the team played well.

“We just didn’t win those key moments, and all those little things we lost.”

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