Former Rajasthan Royals’ captain Steve Smith’s had an interesting day during the IPL 2021 auction as he was sold just above his base price of INR 2 crores. Delhi Capitals pouched Steve Smith for INR 2.2 crores, becoming the first player to be sold in the auction. Nevertheless, Mike Hesson-led Royal Challengers Bangalore was the first franchise to vouch for Smith in the auction but pulled out after the first bid. And the franchise’s director Mike Hesson has revealed its reason.
Ahead of IPL 2021 auction, the Rajasthan Royals made a bold move of releasing their captain as the team finished at the bottom in IPL 2020. Steve Smith’s form with the bat was also underwhelming, further provoking the Royals to take that call and appointing Sanju Samson as the skipper. But given the 31-year old’s record across formats, he was arguably one of the players to watch out for.
Mike Hesson, who held a mock auction, predicted that hardly anybody would bid for Steve Smith in the first round. With the Chennai Super Kings having only one overseas slot to fill, they cannot buy Glenn Maxwell if they go for Smith. The former New Zealand coach predicted that Super Kings are the only one alongside them to bid tooth and nail for Maxwell. Thus, they would confirm being comfortable, making that first bid for the former Australian captain.
“I am not sure if anybody is going to bid for him in the first round. The best thing we can do is make a bid for Smith early, and then move out. So if CSK buy him, they cannot buy Maxwell. They are the only ones at the moment who can outclass us for Maxwell. We need to confirm that we are comfortable making that first bid for Steve Smith. I think if we bid for him straightaway, no team is going to let us get him for 2 crore,” Hesson said in a video posted by the franchise’s official handle.
If he goes for more than 4 crores, I will pay for a Meal: Mike Hesson
On a lighter note, Mike Hesson told the other RCB officials that if Steve Smith goes for more than four crores in the auction, he is going to have a nice meal and a couple of drinks. Hesson added that if the New South Wales batsman goes for more than four crores, he will pay for it and if less than that, he asked the others to dish out money.
“So post auction, if Steve Smith goes for more than 4 crore, I am going to have a nice meal with a couple of drinks. If he goes for more than 4, I will pay. If he goes for less than 4 crore, you pay,” he added.
Hesson’s forecast was accurate as Delhi Capitals bought Steve Smith for INR 2.2 crores and none of the other franchises went after him. The Royal Challengers shelled out INR 14.25 crores, 15 crores and 4.8 crores to buy Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, and Daniel Christian respectively.
Bold Diaries: The curious case of Steve Smith bid
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) February 23, 2021