Bengaluru, March 2: South Africa pacer Dale Steyn has said that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is less rewarding compared to Pakistan Super League (PSL) and other leagues around the world.
Steyn, who is currently playing for the Quetta Gladiators in the ongoing PSL, feels sometimes emphasis may be placed on the amount a player is bought for in the IPL and as a result, cricket ends up taking a backseat.
"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 has played 95 IPL matches, picking up 97 wickets with a best of 3 for 8. But the South African's repeated injury breakdowns didn't help his cause as he just featured in 12 IPL matches in the last three seasons.
Last year, the Proteas pace sensation had said that he would not be playing in the upcoming IPL 2021 as he wanted some time off and as a result, Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) released him from their squad. Steyn had played three matches in the IPL 2020 for RCB and he returned with just one wicket.
The South African fast bowler said he took the break as he needed time off from the game and also because he found playing in other leagues around the world more rewarding as a player.
"When you come to like the PSL or the Sri Lankan Premier League, for that matter, there is an importance on 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," Steyn said.
"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 added.
Steyn has appeared at least in six IPL seasons for RCB, and erstwhile Deccan Chargers which has now been re-christened Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Steyn went for runs in his final over against Peshawar Zalmi the other day in Karachi in the PSL but said he was not too bothered about it.
"But it would have been nice to get over the line against Peshawar Zalmi. Played three, won one would have been really good for us," he said.
"Hopefully we can make a comeback in the upcoming games."
Steyn also described big-hitting West Indian Chris Gayle as "a bit of a freak", who according tom him is "God" of T20 format.
Gayle has left for national duty after playing just two games in the event for Quetta and has been replaced by South African Faf du Plessis.
"Chris Gayle is a bit of a freak, he is a T20 God. But when you look at his replacement and the guys we have got in the shed, they are incredible players.
"Faf du Plessis has flown in, Tom Banton has been around for the last two years and has done really well. I don't think that it comes down to one player to win you cricket games. Everybody has to pull their weight," he said.
Some angry IPL fans on hearing Steyn's comments took to social media to respond to the South African pacer.
Dale Steyn in IPL since 2015 -— Siddharth Dwivedi (@siddharth0219) March 2, 2021
Definitely it has been less rewarding for him.. he definitely forgot Cricket in IPL to some extent..
Dale Steyn's total earning:— Harsha Royal (@HrshaRoyal) March 2, 2021
From IPL - 47 Crore
From PSL - 36 Lakhs
2016 : warmed benches whole season except 1 game
2017 : Not played
2020:UNSOLD in 1st Round. RCB showed mercy in 2nd
2021 opted out in fear of going unsold
Mid life crisis
If dale Steyn has played 1 season, opted out of IPL and given 'that' statement I would have been completely OK with it. This dude played 12 seasons..earned 47 crores from IPL and is now saying it all about money!!!#DaleSteyn #Cricket #PSL#PSL6— Politically Apolitical! (@notpolitical12) March 2, 2021
Dale Steyn in IPL since 2015:-— 🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳 Muzammil 🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳 (@Muz_7Dec2000) March 2, 2021
Definitely IPL has been less rewarding for him.. he definitely forgot Cricket in IPL to some extent...@daniel86cricket @DennisCricket_ @DaleSteyn62
Cearly a case of sour grapes for Steyn. After his third-class bowling in the first two matches of the last edition of the IPL, he wasn't given any further chance, and therefore he is making such statements.#DaleSteyn— ⚡ (@dudescricket) March 2, 2021