In one of the most talked about moves in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rajasthan Royals took a big step by not only removing Steve Smith as the captain of the franchise, but by also releasing him in the auction pool.

In the IPL 2021 auction – where franchises went deep into their pockets to sign several overseas stars, the former Australian captain was bought for Rs 2.2 crore by Delhi Capitals. It was a shocking purchase at the auction as despite a poor season for the Royals in IPL 2020, Smith remains to be one of the most prolific run-scorers in world cricket.

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Reacting to the development, Smith said he was delighted to join the franchise and was looking to help Shreyas Iyer and Co. clinch their maiden IPL title in 2021.

“I am really excited about joining the team this year. I think the squad has a great set of players and has a great coach and I look forward to getting over there and creating some amazing memories, and hopefully, help the team go one better than last year. Can’t wait guys,” Smith said in a video shared by Delhi Capitals.

Earlier, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who came up with the first bid for Smith at auction and immediately pulled out after getting a counter bid from Delhi, revealed their strategy behind the move.

“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,” RCB’s Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson said in a video released by the franchise.

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