The way things were panning out in the just-concluded auction, it looked like Dale Steyn would face the embarrassment of going unsold. The South Africa legend did not get a single bid in the first two rounds of the auction before Royal Challengers Bangalore swooped in and secured his services in the final round.
The Bangalore-based outfit signed up Dale Steyn for his base price of INR 2 crore. And while the turn of events made many believe that none of the teams wanted Steyn, Mike Hesson has revealed otherwise. The Royal Challengers Bangalore’s director of cricket has revealed that the pacer was always part of their plan.
He revealed that the franchise did not bid for Steyn early on in order to keep his price tag under check. Hesson said that early bidding for Steyn would have affected the team’s strategy for the remainder of the auction.
“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 crores, which would have had flow-on effects,” Hesson said in a video posted by the franchise as quoted by IndiaToday.
“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,” he added.
Dale Steyn is not new to playing for RCB
Mike Hesson also revealed that team captain Virat Kohli was keen on getting Dale Steyn in the auction. The former New Zealand head coach revealed that he and Kohli exchanged messages for nearly two hours as the latter made it clear he wanted 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,” said Hesson.
Steyn, meanwhile, is not new to playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He started his IPL journey with the same team and stayed with them for the first three seasons. Last season too, he played for Royal Challengers after being roped in as an injury replacement. He, however, played just two games as a shoulder injury cut his season short.
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