Notts sign Ross Taylor for first half of season

Ross Taylor rolls his wrists over a pull Getty Images

Ross Taylor, the New Zealand batsman, has signed to play as an overseas player for Nottinghamshire during the first half of the season. Taylor injured himself during the course of his epic 181 not out in the fourth ODI against England, but is expected to be fit for a spell of eight Championship games and the Royal London Cup group stage at Trent Bridge.

Taylor turned 34 on Thursday but had to put a birthday drink on hold after aggravating a quad problem in Dunedin, which makes him a doubt for the deciding ODI on Saturday, as well as forcing Notts to delay the announcement of his signing.

One of New Zealand's most prolific batsmen, he scored his 19th ODI ton - and second of the series - against England on Wednesday. As long as there is no reaction to his latest leg injury, Taylor will also be looking to add to his 6246 Test runs during the two-match series in late March.

Taylor has been contracted until mid-June but could stay on for the Royal London Cup knockout stages, with Nottinghamshire looking to defend the trophy the won in 2017. He has previously played county cricket for Durham and Sussex.

"I'm really excited about joining Nottinghamshire as they return to Division One of the Specsavers County Championship, and I hope I can play an important part in helping them become re-established at the higher level," Taylor said. "It's also great to be joining a team who are defending a white-ball trophy, with the club having won the Royal London One-Day Cup last summer, and hopefully the team can mount a strong challenge again.

"I've enjoyed playing against England for New Zealand in the early part of this year, and I'm looking forward to testing myself in the early-season English conditions when I arrive at Trent Bridge for the start of the new season."

Taylor's arrival will add significant red-ball experience to the middle order at Notts, after the retirements of Michael Lumb, Greg Smith and Chris Read, Brendan Taylor's return to Zimbabwe and the request by Alex Hales to only play limited-overs cricket.

Notts finished second in Division Two of the Championship last year, winning promotion after a season in the second tier, and also claimed a white-ball double by lifting the Royal London Cup and NatWest T20 Blast.

Nottinghamshire's director of cricket Mick Newell said: "Ross is a world-class performer who brings with him an excellent record at the highest level in both red- and white-ball cricket, as well as plenty of experience. He is just what we were looking for to strengthen the top order of our four-day batting line-up, where we have lost the likes of Michael Lumb and Brendan Taylor from last year, and his aggressive style suits the type of 50-over cricket we look to play."

"With Ross suffering a recurrence of a previous quad injury in his century for New Zealand against England on Wednesday, we have been monitoring his fitness, which delayed the announcement of the signing by us. We will continue to check in with Ross and the New Zealand team's medical staff, but he's confident that he will be fully fit come the start of our season."