Steve Smith may be one of the premier batters of his generation, but the mercurial right-hander copped a stunning pay cut as the result of the latest Indian Premier League (IPL) auction and the Bangalore Royal Challengers (BRC) have revealed why they snubbed him.
The Delhi Capitals paid $389,000 for Smith, which was a whopping $2.1 million pay cut for the Aussie star.
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Many in the cricket world were surprised with Smith's price tag considering his white-ball form over the summer, despite only surpassing 50 three times in 14 innings in the 2020 IPL season.
This is in contrast to Glenn Maxwell who endured a tough season last year and was dropped.
But his turnaround in form outside the IPL was more than enough for RCB to drop $2.5 million to secure the all-rounder's services, much to the surprise of Mark Waugh and David Warner.
While the IPL auction often throws up some strange twists, a video released by the RCB showed their thought process to why they didn't chose Smith.
The Challengers have a stacked batting line-up of Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers and were looking for an allrounder to fit into the team.
“Smith doesn’t bowl … very clear,” Challengers coach Mike Hesson said in the video published by the franchise.
“Whoever bats there has to be able to bowl.
“All of the stats we’re doing is around batting, but they have to be a bowling option.”
Bold Diaries: The curious case of Steve Smith bid
Why did the RCB management withdraw after the first bid? Here’s the video of the planning that went behind the Steve Smith bid this #IPLAuction2021.#PlayBold pic.twitter.com/Nl60YrnoIB
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) February 23, 2021
Challengers tempt teams with Smith bid
When it came to Smith the Challengers decided to use him as bait to bump up his price.
The Challengers' coaching team were gunning for Maxwell and used threw a bid out on Smith to test the waters.
“The best thing we can do is make a bid early for Steve Smith and then get out. If CSK (Chennai Super Kings) buy him, for example, they can’t go for Maxwell,” Hesson added when discussing the trade at the table.
“They’re the only one at the moment that can outbid us for Maxwell.
“What we don’t want, what’s the worst result, is that whole first group goes by and no one buys anything. So if we can get somebody to buy somebody in that first round, it’s a big win for us.”
The Challengers hoped their first lowball bid for Smith would force a team to try and steal it off them. Otherwise, they would be happy stealing Smith for the bargain price.
But there plan worked as the Delhi Capitals jumped in for $389,000.
This allowed them room in their salary cap for Maxwell, which to his delight afforded him a $2.5 million payday.
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