Zimbabwe headed in the right direction - Taylor
Zimbabwe have taken major steps towards regaining their position in the cricketing hierarchy, of challengers capable of toppling the best sides on their day, and Brendan Taylor who has been at the forefront of the turnaround, has reaffirmed his loyalty to the Zimbabwean cause.
"Zimbabwe is my home and it is good place to be in right now," Taylor told DNA. "I want to support Zimbabwe cricket as much as I can. We're training hard and trying to give our best to play against Australia, India and Sri Lanka. Hopefully by next year, we will get our Test status back and things here will be normal soon.
"We feel the first class structure in Zimbabwe is heading in the right direction. It's run professionally and we just hope it continues the same way. We have got five teams at the moment and we're trying to give exposure to the youngsters," he said.
Zimbabwe's trough in world cricket coincided with the political upheaval in the country which drove several of their leading players away. Taylor was one of the few white cricketers who stuck with the team through the tough phase and spearheaded a few upsets during his time.
"Beating Australia (in the first World Twenty20) was a very special moment. They were the world champions at that stage. The last-ball six against Bangladesh in 2006 which gave us series win. It was the closest game I've ever played in," he said.
Taylor top-scored in each of Zimbabwe's three victories in the ongoing tri-series, getting a century and two fifties in the process. He almost single-handedly derailed India's campaign - an outcome even he is surprised by. "I love Indian cricketers and follow them closely. The present side is slightly out of form. We're surprised that they have left their main players out. But the current side has some quality cricketers. I'm really surprised that they are out of the tournament."
India and Sri Lanka may have sent depleted sides for the series, and while Taylor admits it made his side compete better, it would have been a good learning experience for Zimbabwe to face full-strength opposition. "That's [strength of the other teams] not in our hands but I feel a lot happy that India have not fielded their best team. They would have made our task much harder.
"At the same time, I would have liked them to be here. It would have been a good experience for us. I have immense respect for players like Yuvraj, Dhoni and Sachin. But we enjoyed playing against the current team. We learnt a lot," he said.
With his recent exploits, Taylor has his sights set on impressing the IPL talent scouts, and if things go his way, he may follow Tatenda Taibu to the lucrative Twenty20 league. "Certainly, every cricketer's dream is to be a part of the IPL. I know there are two new teams from this year and I have my aspirations to play in the IPL. A few more good performances and I know I can get an IPL contract. It's my aim to be part of such a well-established tournament," Taylor said.