Billy Taylor: Former Hampshire bowler focused on umpiring

Billy Taylor takes a hat-trick for Hampshire against Middlesex in 2006
Billy Taylor claimed two first-class hat-tricks during his career, which ended in 2009

Former Hampshire and Sussex bowler Billy Taylor hopes to realise his international cricketing ambitions in his new career as a first-class umpire.

Taylor, 39, was appointed to the ECB's full umpires' list on Wednesday having been on the reserve list since 2011.

His promotion follows former Kent and England batsman Mark Benson's decision to step down after having back surgery.

"When I started umpiring, my ambition was to push to try and do international cricket," he told BBC Radio Solent.

"I've served my apprenticeship and learnt a lot doing the hard yards on the circuit."

Taylor's decade-long first-class playing career started at Sussex in 1999 and was followed by a move to to Hampshire in 2004.

He recorded career-best figures of 6-32, which included a hat-trick, for Hampshire against Middlesex in 2006.

"As a player, I always dreamt about playing for England and didn't quite achieve that, but I had a fantastic career," Taylor said.

Taylor stood in a handful of first class games last season, but is set to start his full season in April.

"I really want to continue working as hard as I have been over the last five years," he added. "When you retire from playing, there's always a bit of concern and worry about finding a career for your future.

"Thankfully, I've found one that I'm as passionate about as I was playing."