South Africa legend Dale Steyn looked set to go unsold in the recently-concluded auction when he could not attract any buyer in the first two rounds. While the Proteas star is one of the finest pacers the game has ever seen, his recent struggle with injuries has not really helped him stay at the top of his game. Earlier this year, he missed the World Cup after suffering an injury during the IPL.
Royal Challengers Bangalore had roped in him as an injury replacement for Nathan Coulter-Nile. However, Dale Steyn could play just a couple of games before returning home with an injury. The injury ended his World Cup dream before he decided to retire from Tests in order to prolong his career. But to everyone’s surprise, he was not picked in South Africa’s T20 team for the tour of India.
And thus when he went unsold in the first two rounds of the auction, it did not come as a surprise to many. However, his former IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore handed him an IPL lifeline by securing his services in the third and final round. The Bangalore-based outfit bought Steyn at his base price of INR 2 crore.
Reason behind late bidding:
Mike Hesson, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s director of cricket, has now revealed why the team went late for Dale Steyn. The former New Zealand coach has revealed that they did not bid early for Steyn because his price would have gone higher in that case.
“We knew we wanted Steyn but we knew if we put a bid on him early, it might have gone up to three or four crore, which would have had flow-on effects,” Mike Hesson said in a video posted by the franchise.
He further insisted that Royal Challengers’ skipper Virat Kohli was keen on getting Dale Steyn in the auction. Hesson revealed that he and Kohli exchanged text messages for nearly two hours as the latter made it clear he wanted Dale Steyn in the team.
“I probably exchanged a couple of hundred messages with Virat for a couple of hours. I think he thought we went to sleep in the middle for a couple of hours as well, but he was well aware of what our planning was. He was keen at the end, as we were, to get Udana and Steyn,” he said.