Taylor ended his Test career at the age of 32 years, not the age when a modern day cricketer retires  © Getty Images
Taylor ended his Test career at the age of 32 years, not the ideal age for  modern day cricketers to retire © Getty Images

It seems like there is never a dull day as far as West Indies cricket is concerned. Languishing at the bottom among the Test playing countries, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and its players have been at loggerheads since a very long time, and the unwanted results of the same have started appearing. After an unceremonious exit of Shivnarine Chanderpaul – not many should be backing the legend to make a comeback for the Caribbean cricket team keeping in mind the drama – Jerome Taylor has become the latest casualty in the tussle. The right-arm speedster has announced retirement right at the onset of the India series, and it is certainly not the start West Indies were looking to make. ALSO READ: Taylor announces retirement from Tests

Thirty two is not the age for modern day cricketers to retire. But after 46 Tests, 85 ODIs and 20 T20Is, Taylor has given up too, albeit for now, only from Tests. He will go down in the history as one of those specialist bowlers who have a Test century to their credit as well, and that is no mean achievement. Taylor’s exit depletes the West Indies further, and it remains to be seen exactly how Courtney Browne – the new chairman of selectors – and the WICB want their cricket to improve.

West Indies may be a strong force in T20 cricket, but their fortunes die suddenly when there is a change in the format. And when it is about Test cricket, it will not be an exaggeration to say that they are one of the weakest sides in international arena. Taylor’s retirement, especially at the age of 32, is not going to help the Caribbean side in any way.

Taylor began his Test career in 2003 against Sri Lanka at Gros Islet, and had to toil to make his first impact. Unfortunately, his first five-wicket haul came against India three years later in Kingston, Jamaica, but it could not prevent the touring side to register a very crucial win by 49 runs.

However, Taylor’s greatest performance will be considered against England at his hometown, Kingston, when he claimed 8 wickets in the game to hand the tourists a thrashing by an innings and 23 runs. For those who do not remember, it was one of the most embarrassing moment for England in their bilateral cricketing history against West Indies. ALSO READ:CARICOM firm in its decision to dissolve WICB

Trailing by only 74 runs, it was a advantage West Indies certainly but never daunting enough for England to crumble. However, Taylor and his men wrecked havoc. The right-arm pacer ripped apart the England team with a five-wicket haul so brutal that the tourists were shot out for 51 after 33.2 overs. Taylor returned with the match figures of 8 for 85, and it remains his best bowling performances.

He did not play a lot of cricket for close to five years, but with his return in mid 2014 with the home series against New Zealand, Taylor fixated a spot for himself. In May 2015, he once again haunted the England batsmen as his 6 wickets in the third and final Test at Barbados played a crucial role in West Indies’ win by 5 wickets. ALSO READ:WI squad for Test series against IND is almost farcical

Taylor was a force to reckon with the bat as well. The conditions in New Zealand tend to support bowlers more, but at Dunedin in February 2008, he helped West Indies recover from a precarious position of 173 for 6 to 340, striking 3 sixes and a whopping 17 boundaries to score almost a run-a-ball 106, off 107 balls. Thanks to Taylor’s century, the West Indies were able to force a draw.

West Indies cricket will certainly miss the services of Taylor going ahead, especially against a strong Indian batting line-up in the upcoming series. More importantly, West Indies just cannot afford to lose talented cricketers – however erratic their board may deem them to be – at this hour.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)