Ross Taylor's record-breaking international cricket career will come to an end this summer.
Taylor has confirmed he will retire from the international game at the end of the Black Caps' summer fixtures, concluding a 16-year career in New Zealand colours.
The 37-year-old revealed his plans on the eve of the Black Caps' test series against Bangladesh, with the two-match series starting in Mount Maunganui on Saturday set to be his last in test whites.
That will bring him to 112 tests for New Zealand – tied with Daniel Vettori for the most for his country - while he holds the Kiwi records for most runs in tests, ODIs, and across all formats.
Taylor was the first player from any country to make 100 international appearances in each of the three formats, and holds the New Zealand record for most appearances in international cricket with 445. He also has hit the most hundreds (40) for New Zealand, and taken the most catches (346) by a Kiwi fielder.
He will conclude his international career in the ODI arena, with three ODIs in Australia and three at home against the Netherlands; the final match scheduled for April 4 at Seddon Park in Taylor's home town of Hamilton.
With Covid-19 quarantine protocols meaning the Black Caps will likely play two separate squads for the ODIs in Australia and the following test matches against South Africa in New Zealand, Taylor will end his career in what he deems his best format.
"Going over and playing a few more one-dayers to finish my career, that's what made my decision a lot easier," Taylor explained.
"It would have been nice to play against South Africa but Australia's a place that I've always enjoyed going and playing at, finishing my career playing one-day cricket, which is probably my best format."
Still one of the country's best ODI players, Taylor was dropped from the Black Caps Twenty20 team in 2020, and his place in tests has come under pressure of late due to the rise of Will Young and Daryl Mitchell, combined with Taylor having not made a century since 2019 and struggling on the recent tour of India.
However, being one of the greats of the sport allows you a say in how your career ends, and while he wasn't enthralled with the idea of a farewell tour, Taylor is pleased to be granted the opportunity to end his career on his own terms.
"It doesn't sit that well with me but I know it needs to be done. I would have like to have just pulled the stumps but it gives my family and friends and fans a chance to come and watch me for one last time.
"It's something that I've thought about for a long time, it's not a decision I've made in the last couple of weeks. It's nice to have a bit of clarity and finish on your own terms. I think it's just the right time for me and my family."
Taylor pinpointed his rise to become a test standout – 38th all-time in test runs – as his proudest achievement.
"After my first test series I thought that was me done, so I've done alright since then.
"I always thought I could play one-day cricket, I wasn't [100 per cent] on whether I'd be a good test player or not, but I worked hard at that and I think that's probably my greatest achievement. I could have just smacked it and averaged 30-odd but I changed my game for the team, I don't think many people would have been able to move their game in that direction and I'm happy I made that decision."
It was a moment in the test arena that also stands out as his most memorable, having hit the winning runs to bring the Black Caps the World Test Championship title.
"I never thought I'd get to play in another world final, to hit the winning runs, be there with Kane [Williamson], that was pretty cool."
Taylor intends to play domestic cricket for Central Districts and in other leagues around the world, and left the door open for an international return if he's ever needed.
"If your country needs you and I'm still playing cricket and I'm still good enough then I definitely would make myself available."
But for now, Taylor is focusing on the last eight games of his international career, and also contemplating what his late mentor Martin Crowe would have said as one of New Zealand's greatest cricketing careers nears an end.
"I think he would have respected my decision. I'm sure he's looking down proud of what I've achieved."
Ross Taylor records
Most runs for NZ in tests (7584)
Most runs for NZ in ODIs (8581)
Most runs for NZ over all formats (18,074)
Most ODI 100s for NZ (21)
Most 100s for NZ in international cricket (40)
Most appearances for NZ in international cricket (445)
One of only four New Zealanders to play 100 tests (Vettori 112, Fleming 111, Taylor 110, McCullum 101)
First player from any country to make 100 international appearances in each of the three formats
Most catches for NZ by a fielder in international cricket (346)
Highest test score in Australia by a visiting player (290 at Perth 2015)