International cricket royalty, Black Caps, and family have paid tribute to the retiring Ross Taylor in a touching video.
New Zealand Cricket posted a heartwarming clip on Twitter saluting Taylor’s 16-year international career.
Indian great Virat Kohli, England test captain Joe Root, Australian limited overs skipper Aaron Finch, and Indian legend Rahul Dravid were among those to congratulate Taylor.
Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson and a star-studded group of past and present Black Caps, including captain Kane Williamson, Daniel Vettori, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Devon Conway, Brendon McCullum, and Craig McMillan also shared their well wishes.
* Coach Gary Stead tempers expectations on world test champion Black Caps
* Gary Stead confidant Kane Williamson will lead Black Caps in England test series
* ‘Rock-solid and ruthless’ – cricket world salutes Ross Taylor
Taylor played his 450th and final game of cricket for New Zealand in Monday’s third ODI against the Netherlands in Hamilton, the city where he resides.
The 38-year-old, who made his international debut in March 2006, announced his retirement plans at the end of last year.
Taylor’s wife Victoria and his parents Neil and Ann also provided some glowing words.
“Hey Rossco, hope you’re doing well buddy. As you know sport is all about creating those special memories that stays with you forever, so all the best. I’ll be watching and I’m sure you’ll have that iconic smile on your face like you had all these years,” Kohli said.
“What a fantastic career you’ve had. It’s been a joy to play against you. It’s not been a joy to watch you bat for so long on a number of occasions, but as a young kid growing up I always enjoyed watching you play and I wish you all the very best for whatever comes next mate,” Root added.
“It was amazing to play with you at the Vics [Victoria], when you were also known as Ross Smith, IPL, and obviously spending a bit of time with you off the field. I know now you can enjoy a lot more red wine and KFC guilt free. Congratulations mate and look forward to a very, very nice glass of red wine soon,” Finch said.
Former New Zealand captain McCullum shared a classic anecdote about Taylor and him smoking cigars in the Central Otago town of Alexandra as youngsters.
“We’ve toured some great places way back to when we played under-19 cricket together and we’ve smoked cigars up the main street of Alexandra to watch you carve out quite a remarkable career and become the most capped and highest run-scorer our country has ever seen. I wish you well mate and look forward to having a wine in the future.”
Legendary Black Caps spinner Vettori couldn’t resist a playful jab at Taylor, wondering whether the timing could be right for a move to Northern Districts. Taylor spent his entire domestic career with Central Districts, despite long being domiciled in Hamilton.
“I think the biggest thing now is since you’ve retired you can finally admit you wanted to play for ND for all these years,” Vettori said.
“We’ll probably have to take you as a coach, which we will do. I’ll put an application in for G [coach Graeme Aldridge] shortly. Enjoy that last bucket of KFC and an amazing bottle of red wine, you’ve earned it mate.”
Taylor ended his glittering Black Caps’ career as the country’s all-time leader for runs in tests (7683) and ODIs (8607).