Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor revealed a stunning incident where a Rajasthan owner had slapped him across the face three or four times after he fell for a duck in a game during the 2011 season of the Indian T20 League. Taylor admitted that the slaps on the face were not hard and done in a light atmosphere amidst laughter, but reckoned it wasn’t ‘entirely play-acting. Taylor made the revelation in his autobiography ‘Ross Taylor: Black & White’.
“Rajasthan played against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali. The chase was 195, I was lbw for a duck and we didn’t get close. Afterwards, the team, support staff and management were in the bar on the top floor of the hotel. Liz Hurley was there with Warnie. 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,” Taylor wrote in his book, an extract from which was published on stuff.co.nz.
“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.”
After spending the first three season of the IPL at Bangalore, Taylor was bought by Rajasthan Royals for USD 1 million – a price tag that came with its pressures.
“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. 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,” Taylor wrote.
“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 said.
Taylor scored 280 runs in 11 innings at a strike rate of 134.61 in the 2009 season of the Indian T20 League hosted in South Africa, where Bangalore reached the final. He played just seven games in the 2010 season before Rajasthan took him in . He was a part of the franchise for only one season , and felt the pressure of greater expectations.