Dale Steyn went unsold twice during the IPL Player Auction 2020 but Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have said that the South Africa pacer was always part of their plans as the franchise bought him for his base price of INR 2 crore after releasing him ahead of the auction.
After spending his first three seasons of the IPL with RCB before switching to other franchises. He joined RCB back midway of IPL 2019 season replacing injured Nathan Coulter-Nile. The pacer, who has the 7th best economy rate (6.7) in the IPL history, played just 2 games for RCB last season as a shoulder injury cut his season short.
In November, RCB released 12 of their players including Steyn and West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer during the trade window.
“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,” RCB director of cricket Mike Hesson said in a video posted by RCB.
“It was the same with Isuru Udana as well. We thought Udana was going to be well sought after, so we had to slow-play that one a little bit. In the end, it worked out the way we wanted but it did require a sense of patience, which is not one of my main attributes.
Hesson revealed that RCB skipper Virat Kohli was keen on getting Dale Steyn in the auction held in Kolkata on Dec 19.
“I probably exchanged a couple of hundred messages with Virat [Kohli, the RCB captain] 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.”