Former South African pacer Dale Steyn, who is playing for Quetta Gladiators in the ongoing sixth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL), believes that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is less rewarding compared to other leagues in the world.
Speaking to an online publication, Steyn said that cricket gets forgotten, amid money talks, in the IPL which is why he decided to skip the last season.
“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,” said Steyn.
“When you come to like a PSL or the Sri Lankan Premier League (SPL), for that matter, there is an importance on the cricket. 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 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,” he added.
“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,” said the cricket star.
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Steyn also praised the “breeding machine” of Pakistan’s fast bowlers and called Babar Azam “a wonderful player”.
“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,” said the South African great. “I had a chat with Shaheen [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 [in] the last couple of years,” said Steyn.
Meanwhile, Indians are not happy with Steyn’s statement and are criticising him on social media.
According to Cricinfo, Steyn’s “career trajectory has coincided with the rise of the IPL and has seen him become one of the more prized assets for any IPL franchise, and has consistently seen heavy competition for his signature. The highest auction price for the fast bowler came in consecutive seasons in 2014 and 2015, when Sunrisers Hyderabad snapped him up for INR 9.5 crore (approx. USD 1.3 million today). He has taken 97 IPL wickets at 6.91, making him, by some distance, the most economical fast bowler among players with over 50 wickets in the league.”
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