Taylor: Let's do it for Nixon
Paul Nixon’s retirement at the age of 40 will provide extra motivation for his Leicestershire team-mates on Friends Life t20 finals day, according to James Taylor.
Speaking in the build-up to one-day showpiece at Edgbaston, the 21-year-old England Lions captain admitted he “can't wait” for his first taste of what is one of the highlights of the county season.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Taylor told ecb.co.uk. “I've heard it's the best day out for any county cricketer - and it will be a great way for Paul Nixon to go out.”
Nixon’s final home game for Leicestershire was an emotional t20 quarter-final against former Kent, in which he was instrumental in steering Leicestershire to an enthralling victory at Grace Road.
“It was an amazing day against Kent and a perfect way for Paul to say goodbye to Grace Road and the supporters there.
“The fans were great; it was an amazing day. It was probably one of the best days in cricket I've been involved with. It was quality.”
Taylor insists the Foxes were confident of progressing to the final and securing one of the two spots for the Twenty20 Champions League, to be held in India in October.
“It would be nice to get into the final so we can qualify for India, but we've got to take on Lancashire in the first game,” he warned.
“We've got a great squad at the moment. We’ve got so many options in so many different areas, great balance to the side and all the lads are full of confidence.”
Leicestershire qualified from the North Group in second place before their dramatic three-wicket win over Kent in the last eight and will be hoping that success on Saturday can atone for what has been a miserable year in the LV= County Championship, where they are rooted to the bottom of Division Two.
Taylor has enjoyed a highly successful month which saw him make his England debut against Ireland in Dublin yesterday (although he made just one) after hitting 76 and 98 in the England Lions’ four-day game against Sri Lanka A at Scarborough and two centuries in the three-match ODI series against the same team.
None of Saturday’s four semi-final sides have played t20 cricket since the first week of August, but Taylor is not worried about getting back into the 20-over swing.
“I definitely back myself to adjust,” he said. “I’ve been playing quite a lot of one-day cricket with the Lions, so I’m raring to go for the t20 format. I can’t wait for a full house at Edgbaston.”