Mark Taylor (cricketer) : biography
Mark Anthony Taylor, (born 27 October 1964 in Leeton, New South Wales; nicknamed "Tubby" or "Tubs") is a former Australian cricket player and Test opening batsman from 1988–1999, as well as captain from 1994–1999, succeeding Allan Border. He was widely regarded as an instrumental component in Australia’s rise to Test cricket dominance, and his captaincy was regarded as adventurous and highly effective. However, he was considered less than ideal for One-Day International cricket and was eventually dropped as one-day captain after a 0–3 drubbing at the hands of England in 1997.
He moved to Wagga Wagga in 1972 and played for Lake Albert Cricket Club. His debut was for New South Wales in 1985.
He retired from Test cricket on 2 February 1999. In 104 Test matches, he scored 7,525 runs with a batting average of 43.49, including 19 centuries and 40 fifties. He was also an excellent first slip – his 157 catches, at the time, a Test record (now held by Rahul Dravid).
In contrast to his predecessor Allan Border, who acquired the nickname ‘Captain Grumpy’, Taylor won plaudits for his always cheerful and positive demeanour. His successor, Steve Waugh, further honed the Australian team built by Border and Taylor and went on to set numerous records for victories as captain.
He was named Australian of the Year in 1999. Taylor was awarded the Australian Sports Medal on 23 June 2000 for his services to Australian sport.
Having originally trained as a surveyor, he is now a cricket commentator for the Nine Network, and also appears on The Cricket Show with Simon O’Donnell. He is also a spokesman for Fujitsu air-conditioners.
He obtained a degree in surveying from the University of New South Wales in 1987.
The second of three children born to bank manager Tony Taylor, and his wife Judy, Mark Taylor’s early years were spent at Wagga Wagga, where his family relocated when he was eight. His father had a sporting background, playing first grade rugby in Newcastle. The young Taylor preferred Australian rules football and cricket. He learned to bat in the family garage, with his father throwing cork balls to him. Taylor idolised Arthur Morris, the left-handed opening batsmen from New South Wales who led the aggregates on the 1948 "Invincibles" tour of England.
Taylor played for his primary school as an opening batsman, and made his first century at the age of thirteen for the Lake Albert club at Bolton Park in Wagga. His family then moved to the north shore of Sydney, where he joined Northern District in Sydney Grade Cricket. Completing his secondary education at Chatswood High School,Perry, p. 332. he later obtained a degree in surveying at the University of New South Wales. Along with the Waugh twins, Steve and Mark, Taylor played in under-19 youth internationals for Australia against Sri Lanka in 1982–83.
Taylor made his Sheffield Shield debut in 1985–86 when NSW was depleted by the defection of regular openers Steve Smith and John Dyson to a rebel tour of South Africa. Opening with fellow debutant Mark Waugh, he scored 12 and 56 not out against Tasmania. His first season was highlighted by home and away centuries against South Australia in a total of 937 runs at 49.31 average. He had a lean season in 1987–88, after which he spent the English summer with Greenmount,Perry, p. 333. helping them to win their first Bolton League title by scoring more than 1,300 runs at an average of 70.
Taylor retired from professional cricket in early 1999 after the Ashes series. On Australia Day, he was named the Australian of the Year.Piesse, pp. 188–191. He is now a commentator for Channel Nine and mainly commentates on One Day International and Test matches in Australia, as to spend more time with his family.
Taylor is patron of the Mark Taylor Shield Cricket competition run for NSW Catholic Primary schools in and around the Sydney region. On 6 November 2011, Waitara Oval, the home of the Northern District Cricket Club, had its name formally changed to Mark Taylor Oval, to honour its former First Grade captain and life member.http://hornsby-advocate.whereilive.com.au/news/story/a-gala-day-to-honour-legend/