Royal Challengers Bangalore have confirmed that seasoned South African pacer Dale Steyn will replace injured Australian pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile in the Virat Kohli-led squad for the remaining Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 season.
Steyn may join the struggling, winless team well in time for the April 19 game at the Eden Gardens against hosts Kolkata Knight Riders.
Coulter-Nile has opted out for the remaining season with a back niggle. The 31-year-old, who was bought by RCB at the 2018 mega auction for ₹2.2 crore, had also pulled out of the tournament due to injury last year, when he and was replaced by New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson.
Steyn had failed to find a buyer for his base price of ₹ 1.5 crore at the IPL 2019 auction this year. He now returns to serve the franchisee with whom he had started his IPL journey way back in the inaugural season in 2008. The RCB, then owned by the ‘King of Good Times’ Vijay Mallya, had acquired him for ₹1,30,25,000 against the base price of ₹60,24,000.
In a three-year stint with RCB starting in 2008, Steyn had featured in 28 matches, claiming 27 wickets. His best for the team was three for 18 in 2010. In 2009 he had featured in a mere three games due to a thumb injury when the entire league was played in South Africa due to General Elections in India.
Steyn had not been part of the IPL for the past two seasons, having last played in the league for Gujarat Lions in 2016.
The team management has confirmed that Steyn will only be available from April 16, which means he will not feature in RCB‘s next two fixtures – against KXIP on April 13 and MI on April 15.
RCB this year are struggling to open their account, having lost all their six games on the trot.