Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn went unsold through rounds of Thursday’s Indian Premier League auction before being bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Steyn was a late addition to the Royal Challengers franchise during the 2019 IPL and played just two matches before being sidelined by injury.
‘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,’ head coach Mike Hesson told the Royal Challengers Bangalore website.
‘I probably exchanged a couple of hundred messages with captain Virat Kohli 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 Steyn.’
The veteran Steyn is currently nursing a side strain sustained while playing for the Cape Town Blitz in the recent Mzansi Super League in South Africa. His debut for the Melbourne Stars in Austrralia’s Big Bash League has consequently been delayed.
Hesson also welcomed the recruitment of Australian batsman Aaron Finch, who will play alongside Kohli and former Proteas captain AB de Villiers during the 2020 edition of the IPL. The franchise also purchased South African all-rounder Chris Morris on Thursday.
‘We want someone who takes the pressure off AB and Virat, so we’ve got a world-class player in Finch. Looking at the rankings, we’ve got three of the top five players in the world in terms of the last few years of T20 cricket so that is exciting,’ added Hesson.
‘Morris is a really good addition, in terms of being a three-in-one cricketer; he can bowl upfront, can bowl at the death, he’s got some power with the bat as well.’
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