Delhi Capitals (DC) are “shocked” after picking Steve Smith for as cheap as Rs 2.2 crore at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 auction on Thursday.
The franchise expressed happiness that the Australia’s number one batsman would provide “balance” to a team that is yet to win an IPL title in the history of the tournament.
DC reached the final last year but lost to Mumbai Indians.
“It was just incredible to get Steve Smith. We are shocked about how he went only for Rs 2.2 crore, but to get a player of the calibre of Smith, it’s going to add a lot to our squad, a lot to our balance — his leadership, his batting, his experience, everything. Everyone associated with Delhi is just thrilled,” DC co-owner Parth Jindal said.
“We discussed Smith’s name before the auction and we thought that he would go for much higher, so we had thought that if an opportunity arises, we will go for him, but we never anticipated actually getting him,” he said, still to get over the “shock”.
Smith, 31, was the captain of Rajasthan Royals in the 2019 and 2020 IPL. But he was released before this year’s auction which took place in Chennai.
Kiran Kumar Grandhi, chairman of DC, was also ecstatic. “Smith is a good player and he is a good buy. We have enough options, which we can use against various teams,” he said.
The JSW and GMR-co-owned Delhi franchise also bought experienced T20 players from England Tom Curran and Sam Billings cheaply for Rs 5.25 crore and Rs 2 crore respectively.
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav’s service was acquired for his base price of Rs.1 crore, besides four domestic Indian players – Lukman Meriwala, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod and Manimaran Siddharth – at their base prices. Each one of them had a base price Rs.20 lakh.
“I think it’s a very exciting squad yet again. Meriwala has been doing really well in the domestic tournaments and he’s an Indian left-arm quick which we didn’t have in our squad last year. He gives us an added variation and Tom Curran has the cutters, the slower ones, the quick ones and he’s very good with the bat as well, so he gives that added balance to the squad,” said Jindal.
DC’s assistant coach Mohammad Kaif was also thrilled to have Smith in the Delhi side.