Roses are red, A cricket ball, too, Oh, tell us Tubby Taylor, What's the game to do without you? The decision by the universally admired Mark 'Tubby' Taylor to forego forever wriggling in and out of his cricket box leaves a huge void in the game. His going may not have been accompanied by the same hype and hysteria as Michael Jordan's exit from basketball but it will have a similar impact. Without Jordan, basketball will be all slam with precious little dunk. Without Taylor, cricket will be a game of boundaries without any boundaries. Taylor's natural decency, and belief in traditional sporting values such as honour and fair play, provided a natural check for some of Australia's more gung-ho cricketers. Sure, Ricky Ponting got mortal when Taylor was in charge and Shane Warne sledged and slated, but the skipper led by example and how glorious it was. Taylor's decision to retire unbeaten after matching the great Don Bradman's scoring record of 334 in a Test against Pakistan last year was a selfless act without precedent in modern sport. Bradman, Australia's greatest ever cricketer and a national treasure, was a source of inspiration for Taylor and he could not entertain upstaging his idol. To be remembered as a batsman with the ability to equal Bradman's feat was kudos enough for the remarkable Taylor. What better role model could there be for a nation's youth and it was no surprise when Taylor was named the Australian of the Year for 1999. What was surprising was his decision to quit the captaincy, especially in World Cup year. With the Ashes safely in the urn, and the team gaining in confidence at the one-day game, a tilt at Sri Lanka's title seemed a logical challenge for Captain Marvel. Although Taylor, 34, said he was leaving cricket to spend more time with his young family, perhaps the game's changing face had more than a little to do with his parting. All the talk about bribes and bookmakers, bar brawls and barracking must have beat a sad tune in Taylor's head. Steve Waugh, Warne and their mates will survive, and possibly thrive, without him but who is going to swing the bat for sporting integrity now that Taylor's gone? Influential magazines may be a few months off running 'Cricket in Crisis' analysis pieces but the rot has set in and the sport will be more vulnerable now Taylor has quit. Hopefully, the Australian cricket authorities will be savvy enough to give him a role in the running of the game so as his unique leadership qualities will not be lost.