Teammates heap praise on returning Taylor

Jamaica Observer article.

Kingston, Jamaica - Injury-troubled fast bowler Jerome Taylor has been lauded by his Jamaica teammates for his encouraging return during the NAGICO Super50 tournament in Trinidad & Tobago.

Taylor, the victim of a series of back-related injuries over the years, played in three of Jamaica's four matches in the competition before their batting capitulated against the hosts in a semi-final defeat.

The 29-year-old took three wickets in that loss, and though he was overlooked for the preliminary round opener against Windward Islands, he finished the tournament as Jamaica's leading bowler, toppling six batsmen at an impressive average of 11.83.

Andre Russell, who grabbed six wickets in four games, told the Jamaica Observer that Taylor had a positive impact on him and other team members during the tournament, which was won by Barbados.

"I think Jerome Taylor did an excellent job in all the games that he played in. It was a good feeling to see him back and he helped us. "We were roommates (in Trinidad) so we talked about cricket and he is a good guy and has a good cricketing head.

He knows how to work out batsmen. I showed him a few things that may have changed with how batsmen are playing these days, since he was out with injury. I've also learned a lot in terms of how to work out batsmen," the 25-year-old Russell said on Sunday.

Taylor played 29 Test matches for the West Indies between 2003 and 2009 and took 82 wickets at 35.64. He also has a Test century. In 68 Firstclass matches he has taken 218 wickets at 25.94.

In 66 One-Day Internationals, the former St Elizabeth Technical High School stand-out has captured 98 wickets at 26.82. After suffering a back injury in Australia in late 2009, Taylor returned in mid- 2010 to participate in the limited-overs phase of the series against the visiting South Africans, but that comeback was frustratingly curtailed by more backrelated ailments.

Left-arm finger spinner Nikita Miller, who like Russell and Taylor returned from Trinidad a few days ahead of the rest of the Jamaica players and officials, who arrived on Sunday, argued that his fastbowling compatriot remains one of the craftiest in the region. "In my mind, his skill level was never in question.

Taylor is one of our most skilful bowlers, if not the most skilful bowler we have in the Caribbean for maybe a decade. He is wellequipped and very skilled. It's just his fitness that was the question.

"He completed three games and didn't have a complaint so that's good. Once he can stay on the park I have no doubt that he is capable of getting people out .

It was good seeing him back and good to see him doing well again for Jamaica," the spinner said. Miller, 31, expressed eagerness at the prospect of combining with Taylor in the upcoming Regional Four-day competition.

"Without a doubt I am looking towards that. When we play together for Jamaica we normally bowl well in tandem," he said.

First Published In The Jamaica Observer.

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 04:21