South African cricket stars have joined cricketers from around the world in paying tribute to former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor who has announced his retirement from the international game.
The 34-year old wicketkeeper-batsman revealed that he will play his final match for the country in Zimbabwe’s third One Day International (ODI) against Ireland in Belfast on Monday.
His announcement has led to messages of support from fellow Zimbabwean cricketers as well as some of the game’s leading figures around the world.
In a sign of the camaraderie that exists among cricketers from the Southern African neighbours, some former Proteas players took to social media to praise the ex-Zimbabwe captain on his successful career.
Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers described the retiring Taylor as a legend of the game.
“You’re a legend my friend! Well done on a great career on and off the field,” tweeted De Villiers.
His former teammate Vernon Philander, who was on Monday confirmed as one of the coaches for the Pakistan team ahead of the T20 World Cup congratulated Taylor on his successful career.
“Congrats my bud. You have served your country well. Good luck with the next chapter my brother,” Philander said.
Taylor is widely acknowledged as one of Zimbabwe’s finest ever cricket players after a remarkable career since making his international debut in 2004.
He is the country’s second-highest run-scorer in ODI with his haul of 6 677 runs from 204 matches just behind the legendary Andy Flower, who scored 6 786 from 213 matches.
Taylor’s 11 ODI centuries are the highest by any Zimbabwean batsman while he also bows out of international cricket with 2 320 runs from 24 Test matches and 934 runs from 45 T20Is.
However, insiders claim the former Zimbabwe star was frustrated out of the game by selectors when they omitted him from the country’s T20 side.
Announcing his departure on Instagram, Taylor wrote: “It’s with a heavy heart that I’m announcing that tomorrow is my last game for my beloved country.
“17 years of extreme highs and extreme lows and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
“It’s taught me to be 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 a better position than when I first arrived back in 2004; I hope I have done that.”