Former cricketer Mark Taylor has been left surprised as many Australian cricketers and coaching staff continue to stay back in India for the 2021 IPL despite the raging pandemic. The 56-year-old, though, looked the most baffled by Steve Smith's decision to play in the tournament despite having a relatively smaller contract.
The Delhi Capitals (DC) acquired the former Australian captain at a price of ₹2.2 crores at the auction earlier this year. Steve Smith's decision to go to India to play in the IPL in the first place left Mark Taylor surprised.
Speaking of the situation on Channel 9, he said:
"Steve Smith was an interesting one because his contract was about Australian dollars 350,000 (INR 2.2 crore), which is not to be sneezed at but for a guy like Steve Smith, it's not as big a contract as it probably should have been. I was surprised he decided to go."
Mark Taylor added that he understands someone like Pat Cummins continuing in the tournament, given the amount he earns for playing a few weeks of cricket.
"I was a little surprised that so many of the Australians went over there. If you're Pat Cummins, he's on something around [INR 15.5 crore], so that's very hard to knock back for six weeks of playing cricket," Taylor added.
What would it be like once the tournament is over? - Mark Taylor
14 Australian cricketers signed up for the tournament this year, out of which three pulled out due to fears over the Covid-19 pandemic. There are quite a few Australians amongst the support staff, match officials, and commentary teams.
Mark Taylor revealed that many of the Australians intend to see out the tournament.
"[Ricky] Ponting is over there, [David] Warner, Brett Lee there. Good mates of mine. Brad Haddin, Trevor Bayliss are coaching over there. I haven't heard much from them apart from that they're there to see [out] the end of the tournament," Taylor said.
However, Taylor has his doubts about the possible situation at the end of the tournament, with flights to Australia from India banned.
"A lot of the players have actually said they feel comfortable in the bubble they're in; but what they would like once the tournament's over? I think the Australian players and coaches are hoping that they'll get home ASAP. That is what they're after at this stage," Mark Taylor added.
The IPL 2021 will come to a close on May 30.