Mark Taylor AO
Mark Taylor AO was appointed Twelfth Man and Patron of the Primary Club of Australia in 2015, following the passing of Richie Benaud OBE. Mark is a former Australian cricketer and current Nine Network commentator.
Mark Anthony Taylor AO was Test opening batsman from 1988 to 1999, as well as captain from 1994 to 1999, succeeding Allan Border. His predominant fielding position was first slip. He was widely regarded as an instrumental component in Australia's rise to Test cricket dominance, and his captaincy was regarded as adventurous and highly effective.
His family moved to Wagga Wagga in 1972 where he played for Lake Albert Cricket Club. His debut was for New South Wales in 1985.
He retired from Test cricket on 2 February 1999. In 104 Test matches, he scored 7,525 runs with a batting average of 43.49, including 19 centuries and 40 fifties. In the Second Test at Peshawar Pakistan, Taylor played the longest innings of his career. He batted two days to amass 334 not out, equalling Sir Donald Bradman's Australian record set in 1930, and he declared the innings closed, opting to share the record with Bradman, and making the team's chances of winning the game paramount. He was widely praised for this decision.
He was also an excellent first slip – his 157 catches was, at the time, a Test record. In contrast to his predecessor Allan Border, who acquired the nickname 'Captain Grumpy', Taylor won plaudits for his always cheerful and positive demeanour. Having been named Australian of the Year in 1999, he is now a cricket commentator for the Nine Network, and former Director of Cricket Australia.
Since he commenced his role as Patron of the Primary Club, Mark has attended and spoken at every Sydney Test Breakfast, as well as appearing at occasional Golf Days and hosting our Baggy Green Dinner.
Taylor is patron of the Mark Taylor Shield Cricket competition run for NSW Catholic Primary schools in and around the Sydney region. On 6 November 2011, Waitara Oval, the home of the Northern District Cricket Club, had its name formally changed to Mark Taylor Oval, to honour its former First Grade captain and life member.
Mark is also the current chairman and foundation Patron of The Sporting Chance Cancer Foundation. Sporting Chance invests in nursing programs, which support rural families and regional services to further enhance their knowledge and skills, enabling more children and young people with cancer the opportunity to have safe care closer to home.