London: James Taylor has been appointed as an England selector, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Friday.
Former England international Taylor was forced to retire due to a heart condition two years ago and he now completes a panel headed by national selector Ed Smith and also featuring England head coach Trevor Bayliss.
The appointment of Taylor completes a restructure of the panel that started when Smith replaced fellow former England batsman James Whitaker in April.
“I’m thrilled to be taking up this role with the ECB and once again supporting the England set-up,” said Taylor.
“This is an important role and it’s a huge honour to be appointed.
“I have always been deeply passionate about the game and will bring all of my energy and experience — from the Lions (England A), domestic cricket and the international Test and white-ball game — to this task.
“I’m excited to be given the opportunity to work alongside Ed Smith and can’t wait to get started.”
Taylor was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy in 2016, with the condition immediately ending his eight-year long career as a professional cricketer that saw him make 34 international appearances, including seven in Test matches.
The timing was particularly cruel as it appeared Taylor was on the verge of establishing himself in the England set-up.
But Taylor soon moved into media work as a cricket broadcaster and newspaper columnist. He also became a member of Smith’s new advisory network of England scouts before moving up in the hierarchy with his appointment as a selector.
At 28, the former Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire batsman is unusually young for such a post but Smith insisted his premature retirement had given England a “unique opportunity”.
“We are excited that James is joining us as a full-time England selector for the men’s game,” said Smith.
“He is highly determined, with a deep knowledge of the contemporary game at domestic and international level. He was the outstanding candidate.
“James’s early retirement has brought a unique opportunity for the game.
“He can bring his recent experiences and insights to selection as we seek to identify the best players to drive forward England’s teams in all formats.
“I know that James wants to channel the dedication that shaped his playing career into the new challenge of talent ID and selection.”