Taylor reveals IPL team owner slapped him for getting out on duck

'He was laughing and they weren't hard slaps but I'm not sure that it was entirely play-acting'

News Desk August 13, 2022
Former New Zealand batter Ross Taylor. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Former New Zealand batter Ross Taylor has said that he was "slapped" by one of the owners of the Rajasthan Royals franchise during the 2011 season of the IPL after he got out on a duck.

Taylor made the revelation in his new autobiography, saying that the incident took place following a defeat against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali.

"The chase was 195, I was lbw for a duck and we didn't get close," Taylor wrote in his book, an excerpt of which was published on Stuff.co.nz.

"Afterwards, the team, support staff and management were in the bar on the top floor of the hotel. Liz Hurley was there with Warnie [Shane Warne]. One of the Royals owners said to me, 'Ross, we didn't pay you a million dollars to get a duck,' and slapped me across the face three or four times. He was laughing and they weren't hard slaps but I'm not sure that it was entirely play-acting. Under the circumstances I wasn't going to make an issue of it, but I couldn't imagine it happening in many professional sporting environments."

Royals have not issued a statement in response yet, according to ESPNCricinfo.

Having spent three years at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) from 2008 to 2010, Taylor played one season for Royals - in 2011 - after he was bought for USD 1 million at the auction. In his book, Taylor said he wished he had stayed at RCB.

Read more: Taylor recalls racial 'insensitivity' in New Zealand cricket

"While it was amazing to go for a million dollars, in the long run I would've been better off if RCB had got me for US$950,000," Taylor wrote. "If they had, it would have been my fourth year with them. While the IPL is pretty unsentimental, there is loyalty towards long-serving players and I probably would have had a longer IPL career as a one-franchise player. On the other hand, if I'd stayed at RCB, I wouldn't have played with greats such as Virender Sehwag, Shane Warne, Mahela Jayawardene and Yuvraj Singh.

"When you fetch that sort of money, you're desperately keen to prove that you're worth it. And those who are paying you that sort of money have high expectations - that's professional sport and human nature. I'd paid my dues at RCB: if I'd had a lean trot, the management would have had faith in me because of what I'd done in the past. When you go to a new team, you don't get that backing. You never feel comfortable because you know that if you go two or three games without a score, you come under cold-eyed scrutiny."

Taylor played 12 games for Royals in 2011, scoring 181 runs at a strike rate of 119, after which he played three more seasons for Delhi Daredevils and Pune Warriors India.

In his book, Taylor had also revealed that he had experienced racial insensitivity while playing cricket in and for New Zealand.

The 38-year-old, who is of New Zealand-Samoan descent, retired from international cricket in April after a glorious career spanning 16 years.

Taylor’s comments are the latest accusation of racism in cricket.

The legendary batsman said he endured racially barbed comments from teammates, but does not specify at what level of the game in New Zealand.

Taylor said that for most of his career he was “an anomaly, a brown face in a vanilla line-up”.

“In many ways, dressing-room banter is the barometer,” he wrote.

“Cricket in New Zealand is a pretty white sport. For much of my career I've been an anomaly, a brown face in a vanilla line-up,” Taylor wrote in an extract published by the New Zealand Herald.

Taylor also wrote about experiences from within the New Zealand team environment that had been racially “insensitive”.


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