Cricket: Ross Taylor hoping to reach 'untapped market' of Pasifika players after Blackcaps retirement

Fresh from his test retirement and approaching the end of his playing career, Blackcaps great Ross Taylor hopes to play an active role in the development of Pasifika cricket.

Taylor, 37, farewelled test cricket with the perfect send-off, taking the final wicket, as the Blackcaps levelled the two-match series against Bangladesh, winning by an innings and 117 runs at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

He bows out as New Zealand's leading runscorer in the format, with 7683 runs under his belt, including 19 centuries. 

Taylor will play two final one-day series against Australia and the Netherlands, before completing his career at the end of the New Zealand summer.

And with time up his sleeve, Taylor - who is half Samoan - hopes to continue giving back to Pasifika cricket, after previous roles with Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

The Blackcaps have had just two Pasifika representatives so far - Taylor and Murphy Su'a.

In 2018, Māori and Pasifika were estimated at about five percent of New Zealand's grassroots cricket population, but the Blackcaps great hopes to see that number rise in the years to come.

"I think I'm trying to do it in different ways, when I am playing," Taylor says. "I suppose, when you are playing, it's a bit easier to put that in there - it's definitely an untapped market.

Ross Taylor celebrates a test century.
Ross Taylor celebrates a test century. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

"Hopefully, in conjunction with NZ Cricket and the players association, I can help out.

"I've done a little bit in Samoa and Papua New Guinea, but I'm sure, when I've got a little bit of time on my hands, I can do a bit more."

While Twenty20 is arguably international cricket's most exposed format, Taylor wants to seemore Pasifika players reach the highest levels as professionals.

"Not only that, but playing first-class cricket as well. I think it's a great way to do it.

"Twenty20 is a great avenue to try and get these kids involved, first and foremost, getting involved and experiencing it.

"You never know from there."