The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 auction produced some unimaginable buys. On one hand, when cricket pundits around the globe would have thought Glenn Maxwell to either go unsold or get a team at base price, he was bought for Rs 14.25 cr. Whereas, when we thought teams might go with current form, the players ended up being unsold. In short, IPL teams and auction never fails to surprise us. One such surprise at IPL Auction was Australian star Steve Smith. Even after a poor show in IPL 2020, both as batsman and player, he was expected to earn handsome amount of money at auction.
Ahead of the IPL Auction, Rajasthan Royals released their captain Steve Smith, which eventually led him to be in auction pool. Given his prolific run against India in the recently concluded series, it was expected Steve Smith would become the highlight of 2021 IPL Auction. His name was called out in the first set, and Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore were first to bid for Australian star sensation. Steve Smith's base brice was set at Rs. 2 crores, which immediately got a counter bid from IPL 2020 runner up Delhi Capitals. What happened there after was nothing short of a surprise to everyone sitting in the room. Royal Challengers Bangalore, who were reportedly interested to have Steve Smith in their side, pulled out of the bid as he eventually went to Delhi Capitals for Rs. 2.2 crore.
What happened in RCB's meeting ahead of IPL Auction?
While the move left everyone baffled, it looked like Royal Challengers Bangalore had their plans set. The franchise on Tuesday took to social media to share a video which involved RCB's Director of Cricket Operations, Mike Hesson making strategies ahead of D-Day. It is seen that Mike Hesson was pretty clear on not having Steve Smith in their side as he doesn't provide them with bowling option.
In the process, Mike Hesson made some bold comments about the former Australian captain which may surprise many. He came up with the strategy to start the bidding process for Smith and then pull out as he said no franchise would let RCB have Smith at his base price of Rs 2 crore. “I am not sure if anybody is going to bid for him in the first round. The best thing we can do is make a bid for Smith early, and then move out. So if CSK buy him, they cannot buy Maxwell. They are the only ones at the moment who can outclass us for Maxwell. We need to confirm that we are comfortable making that first bid for Steve Smith. I think if we bid for him straightaway, no team is going to let us get him for 2 crore,” he said.
On a lighter note, Hesson even told the RCB management that he would buy dinner and drinks for them if Smith was bought for more than Rs 4 crore at IPL auction. “So post auction, if Steve Smith goes for more than 4 crore, I am going to have a nice meal with a couple of drinks. If he goes for less than 4, I will pay. If he goes for more than 4 crore, you pay,” Hesson added. Interestingly, Smith was bought for Rs. 2.2 crores by Delhi Capitals which made his prediction spot on.
Here's the video
Bold Diaries: The curious case of Steve Smith bid
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) February 23, 2021