Olympic Games: Taylor promotes Sydney Games

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The Independent Online
THE FORMER Australian cricket captain Mark Taylor remained coy about his retirement plans yesterday despite taking on another high profile job away from the sport.

Taylor was unveiled as the new advertising front man for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

His new role is predominantly a promotional one and will involve the former Test captain publicising the impending release of Olympic Games tickets to the Australian public.

Taylor will feature in press, television and radio advertisements over the next 12 weeks, as well as making public appearances on behalf of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games during the lead-up to the Games.

While he has hinted he will retire from all forms of cricket after New South Wales' final Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania beginning tomorrow, Taylor said if he decided to keep playing, the new role would not get in his way.

"It is an extremely tough decision. I have always loved playing cricket and if I really want to play next season, I can fit anything around it," he said.

"This is a great opportunity for me. Cricket's what I know and love but when it's all but over, you think to yourself, what next?" he said. "I didn't take any persuading."

Taylor, 34, announced his decision to retire from Test cricket in February after 104 Test matches and 7,525 runs at an average of 43.50.

He added that he was delighted with Australia's First Test demolition of the West Indies in Trinidad and said the result highlighted the strength of the current Australian side.

"There's talk in Australia of leaving Shane Warne out of a Test match, well that's just unheard of," he said.

"No other country in the world could afford to make that sort of comment, but that's how strong Australian cricket is at the moment.

"It's not the worst-ever West Indian team, that's a harsh comment [but] they're playing a very good Australian side."