England batsman Taylor retires due to heart condition

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) England batsman James Taylor has been forced to retire from cricket at the age of 26 after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition.

''Safe to say this has been the toughest week of my life!'' Taylor posted Tuesday on Twitter. ''My world is upside down. But I'm here to stay and I'm battling on!''

Taylor's county side, Nottinghamshire, made the announcement after scans revealed Taylor has a ''very serious heart condition'' similar to that of former soccer player Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed during an FA Cup game in 2012.

Taylor will undergo an operation soon.

''It is both shocking and saddening to hear that James's career has been cut short in such a sudden and unexpected manner,'' England team director Andrew Strauss said.

''Throughout his career, he has constantly impressed with his determination to make the absolute most of his ability, and it is immensely cruel that such a hard-working player will be unable to fulfil his great potential in the international arena.''

Taylor played seven tests for England, most recently in series in South Africa over December and January in which he played all four matches. He made his test debut in August 2012.

Taylor – a 5-foot-6 (1.7-meter) batsman affectionately nicknamed `Titch' – also played 27 one-day internationals.

''He is a model professional, the most hard-working I've ever known in cricket,'' Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell, ''making it all the more difficult to accept that his career has been cut short in this way.''