James Taylor represented England in 34 matches across formats    Getty Images
James Taylor represented England in 34 matches across formats Getty Images

Forced to retire by a rare heart condition, former England batsman James Taylor is back in cricket after joining Northamptonshire‘s coaching team for this season’s One-Day Cup. Taylor’s playing career was prematurely ended at the age of 26 after he was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a frequent cause of sudden death in young athletes, last year. He has since worked in the media, but will now put his knowledge to good use in the 50-over tournament, where he will assist Northamptonshire’s coaches on a consultancy basis.

“I’m excited. They are a skillful side who have clearly done well in one-day cricket in the past. I spent a bit of time commentating at The County Ground last season and am keen to offer up my expertise to the squad,” Taylor said on Thursday. “Whilst my focus will no doubt be on the batsmen, I will be on hand to assist across all areas. I can’t wait to get started.”

Taylor averaged 42.23 in 27 one-day internationals for England, with the highlight a match-winning hundred against Australia in 2015. His List A average of 53.11 is the fourth highest of all-time among those with a minimum of 50 innings. Northants head coach David Ripley told the club’s website: “It’s very unfortunate for James not to be playing anymore, but it’s great to see his desire to still be involved with the game. “I believe he can offer good advice and relay his one-day cricket experiences on to our batsmen.”