James Taylor’s world fell “upside down” when he was diagnosed with a rare but serious heart condition called ARVC (Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Arrhythmia). In what was a shocking news for cricket fans all across the world, one of England’s most promising and talented batsman had to announce his retirement last month.
He has spoken multiple times on how much he loves the game and enjoyed the short International career he had. The blow of leaving the game and battling with a serious heart condition has been handled very well by young Taylor though as he remains positive through all the procedures and tests.
Taylor recently joined the commentary team for the Headingley Test between England and Sri Lanka. With ample time now on his hands after his retirement, he was spotted with English cricketers during their practice sessions.
In a conversation with ECB media, he spoke about his life after that tragic incident, the support he has received from fans all across the world, his former teammates and his memorable moments from his international career.
In an interview with ecb.co.uk during the practice sessions of the recently concluded England vs Sri Lanka Test, James, who looked ecstatic, spoke about how he feels to be back at the stadium, “I’m obviously back here (but) in a slightly different capacity (then) I was in previously, last time I played for England here was in ODI against Australia and I’ve got great memories(from that). It’s nice to be back here and see some of the lads and their few friendly faces, it’s really nice.”
When asked about the support from his teammates during the last six or seven weeks, James replied, “Yeah, that had been brilliant, I mean, obviously you would hope they would be there but just knowing that they are there is really nice. I had lunch with Cookie (Alaister Cook) the other day after he brilliantly came down after his fitness tests. Like I said the guys have been brilliant, not just the players but the backroom staff and all the coaches have been excellent.”
Going on further, he went to discuss how his life has been on a day to day basis after the tragic incident, James smiled and replied, “Pretty chilled! Which I obviously have to be, I’m trying to be pretty relaxed and trying to keep myself busy as well like doing things I love to, like going to different sports events, I have managed to go and watch Real Madrid and Manchester City and Leicester Tigers which I love and support, obviously not so loud from the balcony. It’s been nice, to chill out and do what I love doing, but obviously in a very different capacity.”
He further divulged about the helplessness he feels regarding his condition. “Nothing I can do apart from prescribed exercises, the most I can do is walk, obviously I know my heart is not right quite often but that is gonna be the case now,” the former England international quipped.
James Taylor mentioned about his upcoming surgery in the following weeks and said the small procedure that he had few weeks ago was really uncomfortable and still hurts so the next one will be even more intense and painful with a proper device being put inside him. He stayed positive though and said, “Until then I’m just gonna chill and gonna keep myself busy and see what options can come out when I can start doing things.”
On being back on the pitch with his former teammates for a match preview, 26-year old James said, “It is great to be here, a bit strange since I’m usually here, as you would expect, annoying people on the pitch and trying to show off but I can’t do that now. It was disheartening to know that I won’t be able to what I love most but I have always tried to be a positive person and rather throwing tantrums and feeling sorry for myself, I thought what I can actually get out of a very bad situation.”
He laughed, and it was a great sight, talking about his phone getting crashed due to the texts from people he knows, he doesn’t know, his teammates and concerned ones when the news broke and said, “The support I had was overwhelming and you expect it from your friends and family but the support from people I don’t know, public and social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. I have read every bit of it and really appreciate it.”, he signed off.