Aussie fast bowler Shaun Tait loves the perks of being an Indian damaad: My ma-in-law gives me a head massage!
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Aussie fast bowler Shaun Tait loves the perks of being an Indian damaad: My ma-in-law gives me a head massage!

And he adds that he never gets homesick in Mumbai

brunch Updated: Sep 24, 2017 11:04 IST
Farhad J Dadyburjor
Farhad J Dadyburjor
Hindustan Times
Sachin Tendulkar,Virat Kohli,Shaun Tait
Shaun Tait says, in Mumbai dealing with the noise is the biggest challenge. He wears a shirt by Ashish N Soni. (Styling by Mia; Make-up and hair by Ashwin Shelar; Location courtesy: Grand Hyatt Mumbai )(Prabhat Shetty)

One of the fastest bowlers in the world, Australian cricketer Shaun Tait is gearing up for his greatest challenge. “Mashoom (Singha) is expecting,” he reveals, “And I’m looking forward to it. I’ve always wanted to be a father.”

Tait met model Mashoom Singha at an Indian Premier League (IPL) after-party, and they married in 2014. “Our anniversary was just the other day. Every anniversary we’ve been away from each other – I’m either in Australia or India or somewhere. So it would be nice to one day spend an anniversary dinner at home together.”

Not that the 34-year-old is the kind to get all mushy about such things. “Australian men... there’s not a lot of guys I know who are romantic. It doesn’t come naturally to us,” he says. “I still buy Mashoom gifts, though. I sent her a yellow orchid this time, but I sent it to her work and forgot it was a public holiday that day. For our first anniversary, I was in London and she was in Australia and I forgot our anniversary – so my track record is not going well.” He pauses for a bit before adding, “She manages to laugh it off and find it funny. Deep down she’s probably fuming.”

Shaun Tait met model Mashoom Singha at an Indian Premier League (IPL) after-party, and they got married in 2014. (From left) Shaun wears a bandhgala and juttis by Shantanu & Nikhil, kurta-shirt by Ashish N Soni and, pocket square and Jodhpurs by Raghavendra Rathore; Nehru jacket by Raghavendra Rathore, shirt by Shantanu & Nikhil and jeans from Diesel Black Gold; Jacket and shirt by Ashish N Soni, pocket square by Raghavendra Rathore, jeans from Diesel Black Gold and his own shoes (Prabhat Shetty )

Living in the hills of Adelaide near the vineyards, Tait says life is very quiet when he’s home. “We watch Netflix, go for walks, play with my dog and drink lots of wine.” When he’s in his second home, Mumbai, he says dealing with the noise is the biggest challenge. “I come from a small town, so just how densely populated India is, it never makes you feel like you have a moment to yourself. But it’s the only thing that’s changed my life besides cricket. I don’t get homesick here, unlike in other parts of the world. And I have some of my best mates here, and of course, family.”

“MY [INDIAN] MA-IN-LAW PAMPERS ME ...WHILE HER DAUGHTERS, SHE TREATS LIKE RATS”

He thoroughly enjoys being pampered by his mother-in-law. “She gives me head massages, she cooks for me, while her daughters she treats like rats, so they get jealous,” he chuckles.

Having acquired Overseas Citizen of India status in March this year, Tait is contemplating opening a restaurant in Mumbai. He’s a part-owner of a pub in Australia, Hotel Elliot, which has been awarded in the past for its food. Once dubbed ‘The Wild Thing’, Tait recently announced his retirement from cricket – so now what are his plans?

“When you’ve lived your dream for 15 years, it’s very difficult to find another dream. I love nature, I love animals and I hope to work with animals in some way. Money doesn’t inspire me – I like food, drinks and even farming.”

Does he have any Bollywood aspirations like his mate Brett Lee who made a debut on the silver screen with UnIndian? “I did a small part in Patiala House. And I was meant to play a small role in Kai Po Che!, but I had to fly back to Australia,” he shrugs. “My Hindi is terrible – I’ve been lazy about that. And the whole song and dance thing, it’s not my culture so it’s difficult to get why they do that.”

Tait believes that Indian captain Virat Kohli is one of the top batsmen in the world. “He’s world class. I’ve bowled to him towards the end of my career, and he’s very difficult to bowl to. He’s obviously a very emotional guy, which can sometimes get the better of him.”

And he’s also bowled to ‘God’. “When I first came to India, Sachin Tendulkar was considered God and probably still is. It’s an amazing thing – to become so famous for playing cricket. It’s not something that happens in Australia. Not only being famous but literally worshipped. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” he says.

From HT Brunch, September 24, 2017

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First Published: Sep 23, 2017 23:57 IST