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Gutted Taylor retires after heart issue

By Jack de Menezes

England cricketer James Taylor has been forced to retire from the sport with immediate effect after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition, with the 26-year-old set to undergo an operation later this week.

A statement released by Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club confirmed that Taylor had been diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a similar diagnosis to that of Fabrice Muamba after the footballer collapsed while playing for Bolton Wanderers in 2012.

Taylor withdrew from the Nottinghamshire squad that faced Cambridge MCCU last week with what was thought to be a viral condition, but it has since been revealed to be ARVC.

Taylor said on Twitter: "Safe to say this has been the toughest week of my life! My world is upside down. But I'm here to stay and I'm battling on! #lifestooshort."

Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell said that the news had been a "big shock".

"I and all of James' team-mates and colleagues are terribly sad to hear this news, which comes as a big shock," he said. "He is a model professional, the most hard working I've ever known in cricket, making it all the more difficult to accept."

England team director Andrew Strauss added that the diagnosis was "immensely cruel".

"It is both shocking and saddening to hear that James' career has been cut short," said the former England captain. "He impressed with his determination to make the most of his ability. It is immensely cruel."

Muamba is one of a small number of professional sportsmen who have had to retire in similar circumstances, including Wales rugby union front-rower Rhys Thomas, also in 2012, and Ireland prop Simon Best.

The former footballer sent his own message, via Twitter: "@jamestaylor having life is a great option. Retirement is inevitable, but for some of us it's just earlier than expected. Enjoy life."

Taylor replied: "Look forward to hopefully meeting you one day mate! #inspiration"

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