Dale Steyn heaps praise on Pakistan trio, prefers PSL over IPL

Record South African fast bowler Dale Steyn is full of praise for Pakistan players Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Babar Azam.

Speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Steyn also spoke of why he prefers leagues likes the Pakistan Super League or its Sri Lankan counter-part over the much-fancied Indian Premier League.

“I had a chat with Shaheen last year. I think he broke his thumb or hand or something like that last year. He was down but he was amazing,” said Steyn.

“At Melbourne Star, I had Haris Rauf with me and I was so impressed by him and it wasn’t long after that he started playing for Pakistan.

“There is a breeding machine of fast-bowlers here in Pakistan, which is great to see because the wickets are not conducive for fast bowlers so to see so many fast-bowlers come out of here is fantastic to see.”

Azam one of the world’s best

Being a fast bowler himself it was no surprise that he mentioned Rauf and Afridi, but Steyn also singled out Azam as one of the best T20 players in the world.

“I’m looking forward to bowling to whoever is in front of me. Babar [Azam] is a great player. It really doesn’t matter who you are bowling against. Wahab Riaz came in last night [Zalmi vs Gladiators match], only faced eight balls and won the game for his side. So every player that you bowl to, comes with their difficulty,” he continued.

“Babar is a wonderful player and it would be a great opportunity to try to get him out or bowl against him. But you never know, I might not even get to bowl at him because it’s only four overs or he might get a duck, who knows but he has been fantastic for the last couple of years.”

Apart from his international exploits with the Proteas, Steyn is a veteran with many appearances in T20 leagues all across the world.

However last season, he opted against playing in the IPL, and gave reasons why he prefers playing in a league “where the emphasis is on money”.

Cricket gets forgotten in IPL

“I wanted some time off. I found that playing in these other leagues was slightly more rewarding as a player,” he added.

“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.

“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.”