James Taylor has officially joined Nottinghamshire on a three-year contract as county cricket’s worst kept secret was finally confirmed this afternoon.
It had been known for some time that the 21-year-old had wanted to leave struggling Leicestershire in order to further his international ambitions, and he had already been the subject of an audacious approach from Warwickshire in the middle of last season that was rebuffed by the Foxes.
However, as the close season wore on it became increasingly likely that Taylor would be released from the final year of his contract at Leicestershire as he made it clear that his future lay away from Grace Road, and the only sticking point was the amount of compensation that Nottinghamshire would pay Leicestershire in order to secure his release.
The amount agreed has not been disclosed but it is thought to be around £40,000 – considerably less than the £100,000 Warwickshire had originally offered last summer – due to the fact that the Bears could no longer afford to pay his salary after being awarded less international cricket than they had originally hoped and therefore having to withdraw their offer and decrease the competition.
Throughout the whole saga, Leicestershire have made clear that they would like to have kept their man; a fact that was reflected in the statement released by the club.
Chief executive Mike Siddall said, “This is a disappointing day for the club. We offered James a two-year extension to his existing deal which he rejected. Although he was contracted to the county for the 2012 season he expressed a wish to leave and we allowed him to further his ambitions by talking to other counties. James has chosen to join Nottinghamshire and a compensation deal has been agreed. Everybody at Leicestershire wishes James well for the future.”
Head coach Phil Whitticase added, “Whilst we are disappointed with the outcome, we thank James for the contribution he has made to Leicestershire since he joined the club’s Development Pathway in 2002. James is another graduate of the successful Grace Road development system having played for England U19s, captained England Lions and represented England at ODI level whilst with Leicestershire. It is our aim to continue to produce players of James’ calibre in the future.”
As for his new employers, Nottinghamshire chief executive Derek Brewer said, “I am delighted that James has decided to sign for Nottinghamshire and I would like to thank Leicestershire for conducting the negotiations in a professional and amicable manner.”
Taylor himself, who is currently in India with the England development squad, paid tribute to his former employers, saying, "I will always be grateful to Leicestershire for the part they have played in my development but it is time to move on and I am looking forward to the new season."
© Cricket World 2011