Kenneth Alexander Taylor
September 29, 1916, Muswell Hill, Middlesex
April 05, 2002, Gamston, Nottingham, (aged 85y 188d)
Right hand Bat
Right arm Medium
Taylor, Kenneth Alexander, died in Nottingham on April 5, 2002, aged 85. Ken Taylor was cricket manager of Nottinghamshire from 1978 to 1990 and so provided the guiding hand when they won the County Championship in 1981 and 1987, and Lord's finals in 1987 and 1989. His first essay into county cricket had not known such success. Taylor had been playing club cricket in London when, in response to an advert in the Sporting Chronicle, he went to Edgbaston for a trial and was taken on the Warwickshire staff in 1939. The war scotched his immediate prospects, but a commission in the Royal Warwicks developed the management skills that would serve Nottinghamshire so effectively. After demobilisation, and recovered from the wounds he received in the Normandy landings, he took up Warwickshire's invitation to rejoin them and, opening the innings, began with 82 against Sussex. In 1947 he was the established No. 3, scoring 1,259 runs at 26.22 and hitting what proved to be his only century, 102 against Gloucestershire at Edgbaston. Yet within two years he was in and out of the side, batting up and down the order, and he was not retained after 1949. In 87 first-class games he had scored 3,145 runs at 21.69, taken one wicket and held 42 catches. Now 36, Taylor went to work for the East Midlands Electricity Board in Nottingham. As a member of Nottingham Forest CC, he was on the Notts committee from 1963 and experienced at close hand the county's struggles in the bottom reaches of the Championship. "People were just going aimlessly through the motions," said Clive Rice, the Championship-winning captain, whom Taylor signed to replace Garry Sobers as overseas player in 1975 when he was chairman of the cricket committee. "Ken picked up the club by the scruff of the neck and moulded us into a winning unit." He was helped in this by the unholy fallout from World Series Cricket that resulted in Rice being sacked in 1978, replaced by Richard Hadlee and then reinstated after learned advice. At a stroke Taylor, in his first season as full-time cricket manager, had two world-class all-rounders, not to mention the England batsman Derek Randall, around whom to build his team. Rice and Hadlee, disciplined to the core, gave Nottinghamshire their professional edge; Taylor, compassionate though no less lacking in purpose, made sure there was always a human touch in the dressing-room. It proved a winning combination.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding