Former New Zealand player Ross Taylor revealed in his recent autobiography “Ross Taylor: Black & White” that he was slapped across the face by a Rajasthan Royals owner when he got out for a duck in an IPL match against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Mohali.
“Rajasthan played 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. He was laughing and they weren’t hard slaps but I’m not sure that it was entirely play-acting,” Taylor revealed in the book.
“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.
Taylor had played with the Royal Challengers Bangalore during the initial years of IPL but the Rajasthan franchise had snapped him up for $1 million in 2011. The player, however, said that he would have preferred to stay with the Bangalore franchise rather than Rajasthan.
“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 said.
Taylor, who is of Samoan heritage, had also recently said that he experienced racism during his 16-year career in New Zealand cricket and describes racist locker room “banter” and casually racist comments from some New Zealand team officials.
“Cricket in New Zealand is a pretty white sport,” Taylor writes in his book, entitled “Black & White.” “For much of my career I’ve been an anomaly, a brown face in a vanilla line-up. That has its challenges, many of which aren’t readily apparent to your teammates or the cricketing public.”
The 38-year-old Taylor said many people assumed he was of Maori or Indian heritage because Pacific Island representation in New Zealand cricket is so rare. He said locker room banter sometimes was racist and hurtful but he was concerned that raising the issue might make the situation worse.