Taylor thinks over Suffolk job
CRICKET: Former England fast bowler Paul Taylor could be pulling on a Suffolk sweater next season. Suffolk officials have held talks with Taylor, who recently announced his retirement from first-class cricket, about him replacing Bill Athey as the county's professional next season.
FORMER England fast bowler Paul Taylor could be pulling on a Suffolk sweater next season.
Suffolk officials have held talks with Taylor, who recently announced his retirement from first-class cricket, about him replacing Bill Athey as the county's professional next season.
Athey, the former England opening batsman who played for Suffolk last summer, is unable to commit himself to the county next season because of his job at Dulwich College.
With veteran Gary Kirk not getting any younger, doubts about the availability of Chris Seal, who has moved away, and the fitness of Kevin Shaw following a knee operation, Suffolk are keen to sign a bowler.
Their experience of the three-day format in the Minor Counties Championship last season has also persuaded the county to seek a bowler rather than a batsman.
Kevin Brooks, Suffolk's Director of Cricket, confirmed last night: "I have spoken to Paul with a view to him joining us next season.
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"Both Andy Brown, our player-coach, and I know Paul from when we played with him at Derbyshire, but we know we face competition from other Minor Counties to sign him."
Both Staffordshire and Norfolk are believed to be interested in signing the 37-year-old left-arm fast bowler.
Leicestershire-born Taylor, who played twice for England in the 1990s, was released by Northamptonshire at the end of last season.
He recently announced his retirement and said: "There were opportunities with other counties but I've decided it's time to move on.
"I've really achieved everything I wanted to achieve on the playing side and I want to develop some other interests now.
"I still feel pretty fit and by finishing with the first-class game at this stage I should be able to have a few more years in club and Minor Counties cricket."
Taylor began his career with Derbyshire in 1984 before dropping out of the first-class game. He then played for Staffordshire and his impressive performances earned him the chance to join Northants in 1991.
He made his Test debut against India in Calcutta on the 1992-93 tour and also faced New Zealand at Lord's in 1994.
He claimed 559 wickets at 29.73 in all first-class cricket and his benefit with Northants last year raised £92,000.
If Suffolk are successful in their pursuit of Taylor he will face former county Northants in the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy third-round match at Bury St Edmunds in May.