James Taylor Forced To Retire

This is so sad. James Taylor, one of the best young batsmen in England (in all formats), has been forced to retire at just 26 years of age. He missed Notts’ recent game against MCCU with what doctors initially thought was a virus, but tests have revealed a much more sinister problem.

Unfortunately, James is suffering from ARVC, the heart condition that forced former Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba to retire in 2012. Muamba suffered a shocking heart attack in a televised match against Spurs. Muamba’s heart stopped for a 78 minutes so he was lucky to escape with his life. That’s how serious this is. According to reports, James will have a major operation asap – presumably to stop a similar thing happening to him.

I’m no doctor, but a quick glance at the British Heart Foundation website reveals that ARVC is an inherited condition that affects muscle cells in the heart. Changes to the heart muscle means the walls of the ventricle become thin and stretched. The end result is that your heart can’t function properly. This leads to abnormal heart rhythms, breathlessness and risk of sudden death during exercise.

Although James’ operation is obviously needed, he won’t be able to resume his cricket career afterwards because ARVC cannot be ‘cured’. It’s something that will need careful ongoing management. The good news is that most people who receive treatment for the condition are able to live relatively normal lives. It’s also good news that James has been diagnosed before he suffered a very public incident like Muamba.

Obviously James’ health is by far the most important thing at the moment, but one can’t help but wonder how this will affect England’s middle-order in tests, ODIs and T20 cricket? There is now a vacancy at 5 in the test team, and I imagine Taylor would’ve played a substantial role in the limited overs sides too in the coming years. This is quite a major blow to England’s planning. Who do you think will replace him?

In the meantime, we all wish James and his family the very best. At least he seems to be thinking positively and still has a sense of humour about the challenges facing him:

Although James couldn’t resist a self-deprecating nod to his height, I’ve vowed to lay off the Barry Manilow gags for a while. The sad thing, of course, is that Taylor’s career ultimately proved to be the shortest thing of all. He could’ve become a real cult hero of English cricket. Just look at his stats …

James Taylor Career Stats

Tests  7 matches. 312 runs. Average 26

ODIs 27 games 887 runs. Average 42

1st Class: 139 games. 9306 runs. Average 46

List A: 136 games. 5365 runs. Average 53

T20s: 91 games. 1972 runs. Average 35

I think these figures show what a good player he is. Who knows what he could’ve become. Best of luck for the future, James. Take care. You’ll be missed.

James Morgan


  • Well said James, a sad day for England, Notts and most of all the Taylor family.

  • Can only agree James, sad day for cricket, but at least he will be able to live a full and active life outside of the game.

  • How very sad. I was of the view he should have led England to the WT20 instead of Morgan, but given his heart condition it is probably just as well he didn’t undergo the stress. Taylor seems like a great guy – I hope he is able to lead a normal life, albeit outside sport, once he has recovered from the operation.

  • Well said. Sad day, but it could have been a lot worse. Taylor seems to be a likeable guy with a dry sense of humour, so maybe he can make a living in the commentary box, and stay involved with a game he presumably loves?

  • Very sad but thank God it’s been discovered. Best wishes to him.
    Don’t want to think about the team at the moment. The important thing is for them to support their mate and I’m confident they will.

  • So sad to hear this news, he is one of my favourite cricketers to watch and I had so hoped that having got into the test side, he would go on to great things. as others have said, thank heavens they found it now. good luck Titch, so many fans will be thinking of you and wishing you all the best.

  • Terribly sad news and a real shock as it always is when someone so young is sidelined by a health condition.

    As for his England place, I think the best thing in the short term (at least for the Test team) would be if Ian Bell scored some big runs for Warwickshire and made a compelling case for a recall. Failing that, it’s wide open.

  • Gutted for him. He has been one of my favourite players for quite a few years now – I think I was recommended to keep an eye on him back on the old BBC 606 forums when he was Leicestershire. We were yet to see the best of him for England but he was just beginning to establish himself and I’d hoped he was on the verge of really stamping his mark on the international game.

  • What a shame. Let’s hope his operation and management of the condition allow him to lead a full life, and perhaps at least play at amateur level if he wishes. And thanks for two of the finest short-leg catches I’ve ever seen, both of which are in this compilation:


    He’ll be missed.

  • with regard to alternatives, doesn’t Jason Roy play at 5 for Surrey? Alec Stewart yesterday was saying he reckons he could play test cricket soon. and there’s always Ian Bell to come back in if he shows early season form for Warwicks. Vince, Leaming, Bell-Drummond, we actually have a lot of good young cricketers and I don’t know the half of them like most of you do!

    • All good names though will need stellar seasons with tons of runs I think. And BIG scores. I think there’s a good chance we will see bell and ballance back in the middle order and root up to 3. Ballance just scores runs and had a fantastic start to career and I though he was unlucky to be dropped. Ian bell is too good for county cricket and is best when he has a point to prove and is energised. I really think the ‘break’ has lengthened his career potentially to next ashes series at least. Class players like him can play well into their 30s if they want to

  • On some level, he must feel very relieved that he’s discovered this now, though it must be awful to have his idea of his future upturned in a moment.

    He’s obviously a determined character which will stand him in good stead for whatever follows.

  • Nice words James. I’m in total shock at this news and can’t quite process it so can only imagine what he, his teammates and family must be. Since he has come to Notts he has been nothing but a joy and we will sorely miss him on the field. Like footballers who work hard, it is often seeing someone desperate to maximise their potential and do everything they can to maximise their ability in their field. I think in cricketing terms this is the saddest and most frustrating consequence, that James has always been to some degree a mystery of how far he could go and how good he could be. After such investment in his career by others but most importantly by him, it is in no way fair that we will never see just how far he could go and just how much he could maximise the considerable talent he had. He was tenacious and battled for everything on the field which further pleases us paying public.

    Many of us have experienced illness or have been close to those who have and so I’m sure many others are just as hopeful for his health and know that that is paramount. Thank goodness this has been diagnosed and I wish him the best of recoveries. I suppose it’s for the future to see how James can go off the field and I’m sure that that will be very far. Seems a fantastic lad and good luck to him!

  • I hope he gets all the medical support he needs, it is clearly a lifelong condition which will have to be managed very carefully. Very sad for him, he will presumably have to give up any sporting activity, so one wonders if he will be able to become a coach ? He hadn’t had enough time in the England Test team yet to show us what he can do, but there had been signs of improvement and his ODI record is good. Wishing him well for now and the future.


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