IPL 2021: Having joined a rival cricket league, Dale Steyn, who made himself unavailable for RCB this season after being ignored for most part of IPL last two seasons, has surprisingly blamed IPL for putting money over the game of cricket, saying he pulled out of the mega event as he found other T20 leagues such as PSL and SLPL “more rewarding.”
Steyn, who is now playing for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League pulled out of the IPL 2021 without giving any reason. It was believed that his dwindling form in the league and age might be the factors. But the former Royal Challengers Bangalore player revealed that with too much focus on money, “cricket gets forgotten”.
“I wanted some time off. I found that playing in these other leagues was slightly more rewarding as a player. I think when you go to IPL, there are such big squads and so many big names and so much emphasis on maybe the amount of money players earn and everything like that, so sometimes, somewhere down the line, cricket gets forgotten,” Steyn told Cricket Pakistan.
Steyn, who has been a hot property in the Indian Premier League earning Rs 47.15 crore in the 11 editions he has played, said that in leagues like PSL and SLPL, cricket is given importance. That’s the reason why he decided to stay away from the IPL, despite interest from franchises.
“I have only been here for a couple of days and I have had people in and out of my room, just wanting to know about where I have played and how I went about it. Whereas, when I go to something like the IPL that gets forgotten and the main topic is how much money did you go for in this IPL? That’s just me being brutally honest. I wanted to stay away from that and really put more emphasis on playing and bringing good vibes to good cricket teams and tournaments I feel are worth it,” he said.
A regular in the IPL till 2014, Steyn has played only 10 matches since 2015, scalping only eight wickets. His best performance came in 2013 for Sunrisers Hyderabad. In 17 matches, Steyn bagged 19 wickets with an economy of just 5.66, a fantastic record for a fast bowler. His impressive show helped him get a Rs 9.5 crore contract from the franchise.
But in the last two years with RCB, Steyn hasn’t lived up to his reputation, taking only five wickets. He was also proved expensive as he returned with an economy of 8.62 and 11.40 in IPL 2019 and 2020 respectively.