New Zealand star batsman Ross Taylor has kept his playing options open for the future as he voiced his interest at securing a Pakistan Super League (PSL) contract if the franchises are keen.
Taylor, who is the only cricketer to boast a tally of 100 or more appearances in all three forms of the game, is considered to be one of New Zealand's most decorated batsmen as he is the leading run-getter for his country in both ODIs and Tests.
Taylor's glittering record has only gotten better with age as he is often fronting his team's charge out in the middle.
Having recently earned the player of the series prize during his side's ODI victory over India at home, Taylor's fine form begs the question of his longevity in the competitive arena. With no set retirement date on his mind, the 36-year-old opined he would certainly entertain a PSL gig if the opportunity arose.
"If they want me. I'm getting a bit old now," Taylor remarked amusingly when asked about a possible stint in the PSL.
"But never say never and I've talked to fellow Kiwi players who have gone there – Luke Ronchi loves it over there and is well-received by the locals," he said during an exclusive chat with Cricingif.
"Hopefully I've got a few more years left in me when it comes to international cricket but if I'm still good enough and [the] teams still want me then never say never."
The PSL has been home to several New Zealand players such as Brendon McCullum, Mitchell McClenaghan, Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro, all of whom have had varying degrees of success in the competition. But Ronchi's impact on the league surpasses his compatriots as he was bestowed with the player of the tournament prize in PSL 2018 when his blistering heroics at the top of the order drove Islamabad United to their second title win.
Taylor touched upon his exceptional record against Pakistan – an average of 63 across 25 ODI innings compared to his career average of 48.44. The hallmark of his performances versus Pakistan came in the 2011 World Cup group stage when his whirlwind 131 not out flayed the opposition.
Taylor's ballistic masterpiece saw him make the most of shelled chances by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal as he blasted the Pakistan bowlers in the death overs.
"I always enjoy playing against Pakistan. You always know you're in for a hard battle. I would have liked to score a few more runs in Birmingham last year. Maybe I used all my luck up in Pallekele [in 2011] because Shaheen Afridi obviously bowled a very good ball and Sarfaraz took a great catch [to dismiss me]," he said.
Despite his breezy knock pummeling the Pakistan side in the 2011 showpiece event, Taylor rated his century in Dubai in 2014 superior to the match-winning contribution three years earlier.
"It's an enjoyable experience playing against them either in New Zealand or overseas and [unfortunately] just the way cricket works, I've actually never been to Pakistan. The hundred against them in Dubai would definitely be out there among my best centuries."
Taylor also elaborated on his team's six-wicket defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup and rued his dismissal for a cheap score in the fateful encounter.
The tournament finalists were downed by a splendid partnership between Babar Azam and Haris Sohail on a pitch that offered extravagant turn to the spinners.
"While the World Cup game against Pakistan was at a neutral venue, we knew we were going to be outnumbered when it comes to the supporters," he stated.
Taylor lauded teammate Jimmy Neesham's sparkling effort with the bat to lift them out of misery but felt they were still a few runs short of a defendable target.
"It was a bit overcast and the Pakistani bowlers utilised that. I think we were lucky that Jimmy Neesham got us to a competitive total which was still probably 10 or 20 short but I believe we still bowled well upfront to put pressure on them.
"Once Babar and Haris batted the way they did amidst turning conditions, it was a class act. You never want to say it in terms of when you're watching it but I had a good view of it from first slip and backward point, and the two batted fantastically well."