Brendan Taylor says 'I do' to the IPL
Brendan Taylor was so confident he would not get picked up by an IPL franchise, he scheduled his wedding for a date which falls in the tournament window. Taylor is due to say "I do," to Kelly Anne Readings just outside Harare on April 29, midway through the event which is penciled in for April 9 to June 3.
"First we had the date as March 29 and that was before the World T20 fixtures were announced. Then we saw that if Zimbabwe go past the group stage it will clash with the wedding, so we didn't want to take that risk," Taylor told ESPNcricinfo. "I didn't think I would get an IPL deal so I thought April was safe. I am going to have to ask very nicely for two days off so I can come back and get married, otherwise maybe I won't have a fiancee to marry anymore. And the honeymoon can wait. I really didn't think I'd get anywhere near the IPL."
And he was almost led to believe he didn't either. Soon after the auction happened, Taylor's brother told him he had missed out again. Taylor tweeted that, "Life goes on, keep pressing on." A few hours later he discovered it was a joke and he had, in fact, been picked up.
The first person outside his family he contacted was Tom Moody, the Sunrisers Hyderabad coach, who he also played under during the Sri Lanka Premier League. "I just sent him an email to say 'Thank you for putting yourself on the line for me and believing in me'," Taylor said.
Under Moody at the Uthura Rudras, Taylor was made vice-captain, kept in all six matches and batted up the order. He scored just 46 runs but made enough of an impact for Moody to want him on his IPL books too. At a much bigger tournament, with many more superstars around, Taylor does not expect to have as big a role but hopes he will have the chance to show what he is capable of.
"I really just want to prove myself as a player," he said. "Tom has constructed the squad very carefully and it will be interesting to see how we all fit in."
He will competing for overseas spots with the likes of Dale Steyn, David Warner and Darren Sammy. Taylor knows all three from interactions on the international circuit but admitted "it will be nice to get to know them better."
Unlike them, Taylor will not be taking home millions. He was sold for a base price of just under US$50,000 but, even though Zimbabwe cricket's financial crisis has left Taylor and his team-mates without a salary for six months, he hasn't thought too much about the money.
"Money is always nice to have but I don't really know what I'm going to do with it or anything," he said.
No doubt some of it will go towards the wedding and flying his young family over to India to experience some of the tournament with him. Taylor and Readings have two young sons, the second of whom also had an interesting date with cricket.
On the eve of Zimbabwe's first Test against Pakistan last September, Readings went into labour and was expected to give birth that day, allowing Taylor to play the match. Baby Mason only arrived in the early hours of the first morning and Taylor had to sit out the match. Now six months old, Mason will get first taste of the IPL soon. "I'm sure Kelly and the kids would love to come over, we'll see how it goes," Taylor said.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent