March 3 – South African speedster Dale Steyn has said that the financial aspect of the Indian Premier League, the world’s most lucrative T20 league, steers the focus off of cricket and he finds the likes of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the Lankan Premier League (LPL) “slightly more rewarding”.
Steyn, who is currently plying his trade for the Quetta Gladiators franchise in the PSL, told Cricket Pakistan that the duration of the IPL was also a factor in him opting out of this season as he wanted some more time to himself.
“I wanted to take a bit more time off. I found that playing in those other leagues was slightly more rewarding as a player,” Steyn said. “I think when you go to the IPL there are such big squads and so many big names and so much emphasis on the amount of money that the players earn that somewhere along the line the cricket kind of gets forgotten. When you come to the PSL or the LPL, there’s an importance on the cricket.
“I’ve only been here a couple of days and I’ve had people coming to my room asking where I played and how I went about it. In the IPL, that kind of gets forgotten and the main topic is how much money you went for this IPL. And that’s just me being brutally honest. I just wanted to stay away from that this year and put more emphasis on bringing good vibes to teams and tournaments I feel are worth it,” the 37-year-old added.
Steyn was a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad in IPL 2020 but released by the Virat Kohli-led franchise just ahead of auctions after he declared that he won’t be available for the 2021 season. The South African has been one of the most economical bowlers in IPL history, snaring 97 wickets at 6.91, thereby making him one of the most sought after foreign players in the league. He was snapped up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 9.5 Crore at the 2015 auctions. However, his threat has gradually faded with him joining RCB in 2019 only as an injury replacement.
Steyn’s public endorsement for PSL comes as a massive boost for a league trying to restore normalcy around cricket in Pakistan after years of having played at an away ‘home’ in the UAE. Steyn joined Quetta only last year when he was placed in the Platinum Category. His only outing so far has been far from ideal, but the pacer is confident that the team can turn things around.
“I’m not too perturbed but it would have been nice to get over the line against Peshawar Zalmi,” Steyn said. “Hopefully we can make a comeback in the upcoming games. Chris Gayle’s absence will hurt because he’s a T20 God, and a bit of a freak. But when you look at his replacement and the guys we have in the shed, they are incredible players. Faf du Plessis has flown in, Tom Banton has been around the past two years and has done well. I don’t think it comes down to one player to win you cricket games. Everyone has to pull their weight.”
Steyn also showered praise on Pakistan’s rich fast bowling reserves, and on the current national captain Babar Azam. “There is a breeding machine of fast bowlers here in Pakistan, which is great to see because the wickets are not conducive to fast bowlers,” Steyn said. “I had a chat with Shaheen [Shah Afridi] last year – I think he broke his thumb. He was down but he was amazing. At Melbourne Stars, I had Haris Rauf with me, and I was really impressed by him. Not long after that, he played for Pakistan.
“Babar is a great player and it would be a great opportunity to get him out or bowl against him. But you never know, I might not get to bowl against him because it’s only four overs or he might get out for a duck. But he’s been fantastic the last couple of years.”
Source – Cricbuzz