Taylor one of three released by Northamptonshire
Photo © CricInfo
The former England fast bowler Paul Taylor is one of three players released by Northamptonshire ahead of the 2002 season.
Taylor, 37, has not been offered terms for next summer, along with fellow paceman Michael Strong and batsman Alec Swann.
With the exception of David Ripley, who has retired from first-class cricket, all the other players whose contracts were due for renewal will be offered new ones, including Australian batsman Mike Hussey.
Northamptonshire want Hussey to return as the club's overseas cricketer, subject to him being free from any commitments with Australia.
All-rounder Kevin Innes has been granted permission to talk to other counties, and he will be released from his contract at Wantage Road if he finds alternative employment.
Taylor joined Northamptonshire from Staffordshire in 1991, having begun his first-class career with Derbyshire in 1984. He played in two Tests for England, and last season became only the 16th bowler to claim 500 wickets for the County.
His final tally for Northamptonshire was 531 first-class victims at 28.84, and he also scored more than 2,000 runs down the order including nine half-centuries.
Chief Executive Steve Coverdale said: "Paul has given the club fantastic service for the past eleven seasons, during which time he's been an integral and valuable member of the first team."
"He has also contributed immensely both on and off the field as the players' official representative."
"He was chosen for England within two years of joining us and was unlucky to have played only twice for his country."
"Paul has been a highly-skilled, very committed and totally professional cricketer. He is still very fit and keen to stay in the game, and we all wish him well for the future."
Alec Swann, the elder brother of Graeme, joined the staff in 1995 and hit five hundreds in his 44 first-class matches, while Strong came to Northamptonshire from Sussex in 2000 and made 13 appearances in first-class cricket for the County, nine of them this summer.
Coverdale added: "Alec is at the stage of his career when he needs a guaranteed and regular place in a county side, and in the short term we are not in a position to offer him that."
"He is a very dedicated individual who deserves the chance to further his career elsewhere, because he has already shown that he can succeed at first-class level."
"The highlight of Michael's time with Northamptonshire was his match-winning performance against Yorkshire in the NatWest Trophy last year."
"That showed what a good bowler he can be, and he has proved a very wholehearted and popular member of the staff over the past two seasons."
Northamptonshire await a response from South African-born wicketkeeper-batsman Gerry Brophy, who has been offered a two-year contract.
He qualifies to play county cricket in 2002 through his Irish citizenship.