I was slapped across the face by a Rajasthan Royals owner in 2011: Ross Taylor

Rajasthan Royals picked up Ross Taylor in IPL 2011 mega auction for INR 4.6 crore.

Rajasthan Royals picked up Ross Taylor in IPL 2011 mega auction for INR 4.6 crore.
New Zealand’s Ross Taylor. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP).

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Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor revealed a shocking incident in his autobiography, narrating that he was slapped by a Rajasthan Royals owner in 2011. After serving three years in the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, the Royals bought Taylor for a whopping INR 4.6 crore.

Taylor scored 181 runs in 11 innings at an average of 36.20 without a single half-century in the season. He moved to the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in the next season and was not picked by any franchise after the 2014 edition.

Taylor mentioned that he was dismissed for a duck in a game and the team management was in a bar on the top floor of the hotel alongside skipper Shane Warne after the match when the incident took place. He noted the words of the owner about the price tag and revealed that he was slapped by the owner three to four times. Taylor added that the owner was laughing and he wasn’t sure if it had to be taken on a funny note or not. He concluded that he doesn’t see it happening in any other sport.

“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,” he added.

“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,” he further wrote.