'Steve Smith might pull out of IPL due to low auction price' - Michael Clarke makes startling claim

‘Steve Smith might pull out of IPL due to low auction price’ – Michael Clarke makes startling claim

Delhi Capitals have bought Steve Smith for Rs 2.20 crore for the upcoming IPL 2021.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke has come up with yet another controversial statement, saying that his ex-teammate Steve Smith might pull out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 because of the small amount he got at the auction. Smith, who had plied his trade for Rajasthan Royals last year, is set to play for Delhi Capitals in the upcoming season.

The Delhi-based outfit secured the services of the Australia star for just Rs 2.2 crore at Thursday’s IPL auction. Smith had registered himself at the highest base price of Rs 2 crore. And while many expected him to get a good amount, the franchises did not look too interested in him. In the end, Delhi Capitals signed him up without facing any challenge from the other franchises.

Smith’s new salary is way less than what he was earning with the Royals. Ahead of IPL 2018, the Royals had retained Smith for a whopping amount of Rs 12.5 crore. But after Smith failed to do well both as captain and batsman last year, they decided to part ways with him. And Clarke believes Smith’s latest IPL contract might make him skip this year’s tournament.

“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 Michael Clarke on the Big Sports Breakfast Podcast after calling Smith among the top three batsmen in the world.

“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. 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,” Michael Clarke added.

Virat Kohli is number one: Michael Clarke

Speaking further, Michael Clarke also revealed his pick for the best batsman in the world. In the last few years, the race has been mainly between Virat Kohli and Smith. And while the jury is still out to decide the best in the world, Clarke believes the India skipper is presently at the top. Clarke also said that Smith is in the top three batsmen of the world.

“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,” Michael Clarke said.