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17 Jan 2021
After creating a furore with his opinion comparing the quality of different leagues across the world, former South African pacer Dale Steyn has issued a clarification and apology for hurting sentiments. However, he said that his words were taken out of context and got amplified by social media users in a tweet on Wednesday.
Earlier in his interview with Cricket Pakistan, he had said that playing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) where he is currently representing Quetta Gladiators this year or in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) have been more rewarding as a player. He had also said that the talks around money which the leagues such as the IPL have in abundance leave the actual cricket far behind.
“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 had said to Cricket Pakistan.
“When you come to like a PSL or the Sri Lankan Premier League, 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 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.”
Dale Steyn could feature in only three games last season where he picked up only one wicket at an alarming economy rate of 11.33 runs per over. He pulled out of the next edition for the RCB and had hinted of playing in other leagues.
"Just a short message to let everyone know that I've made myself unavailable for RCB at this year's IPL. I'm also not planning on playing for another team, just taking some time off during that period. Thank you to RCB for understanding. I will be playing in other leagues, nicely spaced out to give myself an opportunity to do some thing's I've been excited about as well as continue to play the game I love so much. NO, I'm NOT retired," he had tweeted.
Steyn has played right from the first season of the IPL in 2008 and represented franchises such as the RCB, now-defunct Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Gujarat Lions. He was at his peak in the tournaments between 2010-13 when he picked up 66 wickets across four seasons. His numbers in the league started to dwindle as he started struggling for fitness and could not play in the majority of games for his franchises.