Jerome Everton Taylor
June 22, 1984, St Elizabeth, Jamaica
Right hand bat
Right arm fast
Jerome Taylor was just 18 years old, with a handful of matches for Jamaica under his belt, when he was called into the West Indies squad for the final match of their series against Sri Lanka in June 2003. There was never any doubt about the fast bowler's talent. Taylor is a natural in getting the ball to move away and, when at his best, he drew comparisons with West Indies legend Michael Holding. Injuries, however, had a knack of dragging him down.
In a five-year stretch between November 2009 and June 2014, Taylor was able to play only five T20Is and four ODIs, and had his commitment questioned by the WICB. Just before that tough period, he had spearheaded one of West Indies' greatest Test wins, at his home ground in Kingston, by ripping through England with a match haul of 8 for 85. He eventually regained his place in the team for a tour of India in 2014 - which the players abandoned due to a payment dispute with their cricket board - and has been a regular fixture in Tests and ODIs since then.
Taylor's rise to international cricket was rapid. He was named the most promising fast bowler in the 2003 Carib Beer Series, after picking up 21 wickets at 20.14 in six first-class matches. That haul included a second-innings 8 for 59 in Jamaica's five-wicket victory over Trinidad & Tobago, a match in which he took ten wickets for the first time. But a back injury sidelined him from competitive cricket.
He picked up 26 wickets at 16.61 in the Carib Beer Cup in the 2004-05 season, and in the next, he grabbed 12 wickets at 29 to force his way back into the West Indies team. When India toured the West Indies in mid-2006, they ran into an energised Taylor at his best. Quick and accurate, Taylor turned into West Indies' spearhead as the series progressed. His pacy burst on the lifeless surface in St Kitts won many admirers, but it was his lethal performance in Kingston that underlined his worth. Getting the ball to lift off a good length, he thrilled his home crowd with his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests.
He picked up 26 wickets at 27.69 in the 2006-07 season and bagged his then career-best figures in ODIs - 4 for 49, including a hat-trick, when he bowled West Indies to a thrilling win against Australia in the Champions Trophy. He bettered that a year later when he snared 5 for 48 against Zimbabwe, and in 2008 was West Indies' leading bowler in the Test series against Sri Lanka, with 11 wickets in two matches at 24.81. That helped him bag the Jamaica Cricketer-of-the-Year award for 2008. That year he also blitzed a Test century at just under a run a ball, from No. 8, against New Zealand.
Form on his comeback after back injury in 2014 fuelled his 2015 World Cup dream, where he was West Indies' highest wicket-taker with 17 scalps in seven matches. He was also part of West Indies' World T20 winning squad in 2016. But an unsuccessful run in the longest format in Australia in December 2015-January 2016, when he picked up two wickets in three Tests, resulted in him calling time on his Test career in July 2016.
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