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Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor to play One-Day Cup for Middlesex ahead of World Cup

Ross Taylor, the New Zealand stalwart, will tune-up for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales with a stint at Middlesex, the county announced on Friday, 5 April.

Taylor was released by New Zealand to play the One-Day Cup with Middlesex ahead of the World Cup. He is set to make his debut against Surrey at The Oval on 25 April, and is expected to play at least five matches in the tournament.

Should Middlesex progress to the latter stages, Taylor will also be available for selection for the play-off and the semi-final on 10 and 12 May. However, he will not be available for the final at Lord’s on 25 May, with New Zealand slated to play a warm-up match against India on the same day.

Taylor has been in sublime form in ODIs – he has already scored 593 runs in 11 matches this year at a staggering average of 74.12. Since the last World Cup, in fact, Taylor has averaged a brilliant 68.86.

Bryan Stronach, the New Zealand GM of High Performance, said the stint with Middlesex was the best possible preparation for their star player. “It’s a good opportunity for Ross, and both Gary Stead [coach] and I agree playing competitive cricket in English conditions will only enhance his World Cup preparation,” he said.

“Ross is a very experienced player who knows what works best for him and in turn will be best for the BLACKCAPS.”

At Middlesex, Taylor will plug the hole left by England captain Eoin Morgan, who will be on international duty. Ireland’s Paul Stirling will also be absent in the second half of the tournament, and Angus Fraser, the Middlesex managing director, was pleased they had managed to replace one of them with someone as accomplished as Taylor.

“To have the opportunity to fill these gaps with a player of Ross's undoubted class is a real treat for the club,” he said. “He is an outstanding cricketer and a cracking man, and we look forward to welcoming him to Lord's in a couple of weeks’ time.”

New Zealand begin their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on 1 June.

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