Sydney: Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has hinted that batsman Steve Smith might pull out of the Indian Premier League 2021 citing injury after being picked for a relatively small amount at the IPL 2021 auction.
It came as a surprise to a lot of fans, including cricket experts and even the franchises when Smith was picked up by Delhi Capitals (DC) for just Rs 2.2 crore in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions in Chennai.
The price that Smith got in the IPL 2021 auctions shocked former Australia captain Michael Clarke, who even suggested that the batsman might not play in the tournament due to the low price and the quarantine before the league starts.
“You talk about Steve Smith – if he’s not the best batsman in the world, he’s not far away. Virat Kohli is number one, but Smithy is in the top three,” Clarke said.
“I know his T20 performances haven’t been as good as he would have liked. Last year’s IPL wasn’t great. I’m very surprised he has gone for the amount of money he has, just under $400,000 – which is still good money,” said Clarke.
“But when you look at what he was getting (last season) and his role as captain of Rajasthan, don’t be surprised if there’s a little hamstring strain the day the plane is meant to fly to India,” Clarke added.
Smith was released by Rajasthan Royals (RR) for below-par performance in IPL 2020. RR, who retained Smith in 2018 for Rs 12.5 crore, ended up finishing at the bottom in the points table last year. Smith made 311 runs in last year’s IPL, scoring only three half-centuries.
“For him to go away for an eight-week tournament and quarantine before the tournament starts call it 11 weeks. I don’t think he is going to give up 11 weeks away from his family and his partner for $380,000. I’m really interested to see if he gets a tight hamstring and doesn’t go. Or if it goes the other and he says I do want to go and play in this T20 World Cup and I do want to get picked up for more money in the next IPL. I am going to go there, I don’t care for the money and will prove people wrong,” he concluded.