Taylor paid $250 for World Cup?

LONDON - A World Cup star, a national hero in his prime, but Brendan Taylor gave it all up to play for Nottinghamshire on the back of earning a reported $250 for his recent World Cup campaign.

The 29-year-old’s decision to retire from international cricket at the World Cup, having smashed 138 off 110 balls in a group stage match against the then reigning champions India in his final match for Zimbabwe, resonated around the cricketing world.

As the fourth-highest run getter at the tournament with 433 runs, Taylor reportedly earned around £131 before tax for his efforts in Australia and New Zealand.

Taylor, however took to Twitter yesterday to authenticate the report saying “@CricketZimbo it was actually £132.”

In contrast, as an established county cricketer, Taylor can expect to earn between £50 000 and

£100 000, according to the Professional Cricketers’ Association.

“It is every international player’s dream to put on their country’s shirt, that is why we play the sport,” Taylor told BBC Sport.

“But our careers do not last forever and I want to go and play in a great set-up, which Notts has provided for me.

“It was not an easy decision but I guess every player would be lying if they say they are not trying to maximise on potential earnings.”

Money, undoubtedly, remains one of the biggest issues that plague Zimbabwe, a cricketing nation which has never prospered since being granted Test status in 1992.

Having spent the past couple of years fighting with Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) over contract and wage issues, the team headed to this year’s World Cup amid reports of a dispute over how the allocation of $650 000 should be split between the 15-man squad.

Only six weeks earlier, the dire financial state that also affects the domestic game was again brought to the fore as the players refused to turn out just two days before the season was to begin over salary concerns, which ranged between  $300-$1 500 per month — before a set tax of 50 percent.

Debt has long crippled ZC, often meaning players are not paid on time or provided with food or living allowances when travelling, and Taylor is not the first of his countrymen to seek an exit route to a different country.

Talented emerging batsman Craig Ervine refused a central contract to play club cricket with Northern Irish side Lisburn and Grade cricket for Morley in Western Australia in 2013, while fast bowler Kyle Jarvis retired internationally at 24 to take up a Kolpak deal with county side Lancashire.

“You are posed with difficult challenges and choices but it is a positive one that I have taken,” added Taylor, named the 12th man in the ICC’s World Cup Team of the Tournament having also scored an impressive 121 off 91 balls against Ireland and finishing with an average of 72.16.

“It has been a special 11 years but I had to think about my family and my future.

“I am excited about being able to play a lot of cricket, playing in a very professional environment and with wonderful facilities.”

The constant rebuilding of the side failed to foster an environment where the team could prosper, and at the end of 2014 they suffered a humiliating 3-0 Test series loss and 5-0 one-day international series loss to Bangladesh, which proved to be the tipping point for Taylor.

“We were on tour in Bangladesh and I struggled, we all did as a team, and the enjoyment factor went out of the window a little bit,” he said.

“That is when I thought this is the end and I spoke to an agent and made sure I had a plan B in place.

“I just thought time is running out for me.”

While Taylor may have found a way to enhance both his talents as a cricketer and his earnings, concerns about the state of Zimbabwe cricket have heightened.

Club cricket, which Taylor attributes to helping mould him as a young player, is another area that lacks sufficient funds.

The wicketkeeper says it is vital for ZC to put its resources into restoring the club game to develop the next crop of young players.

However, sport in Zimbabwe seems to be in peril.

The national football side were recently expelled from qualification for the 2018 World Cup for failing to pay an outstanding debt - and without radical changes it may be difficult for the cricket team to keep a hold of its best players or grow as a side. — BBC Sport

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