South African paceman Dale Steyn is set to return to IPL fold after signing on with Royal Challengers Bangalore to replace injured Australian all-rounder Nathan Coulter-Nile. The Australian has not played a single game in IPL-12 due to a stiff back.
"Nathan Coulter-Nile is still recovering from a sustained injury and has been prescribed ample rest. He is a player of tremendous talent, but owing to his personal time-out, he won't be able to play during IPL season 12. His absence has been felt greatly both in the team and on ground. Team RCB wishes Nathan a heartfelt speedy recovery and an early come back," an RCB statement read.
"Replacing him in the squad is the explosive fast bowler Dale Steyn. We all welcome him to the RCB squad!"Steyn will return to the league after a gap of two seasons — he last played for Gujarat Lions in 2016 — turning out in only one match. He is also set to return to the franchise he played 28 matches for between 2008 and 2010, picking up 27 wickets. Steyn had pulled out of the 2017 auction, as he recovered from a career-threatening shoulder injury, but went unsold in the 2018 and 2019 auctions.
The South African talisman has played in 90 IPL games over his career and was part of IPL-12 auction at a base price of Rs 1.5 crore. Steyn stoked the rumours of his arrival after posting a picture of his India visa on his Instagram account which he quickly deleted on Thursday. He will be available from RCB's 9th game vs KKR on April 19.
Coulter-Nile had missed the first few weeks of IPL-12 because of his international commitments, with Australia taking on Pakistan in an ODI series in the UAE. With the ODIs ending on March 29, he was expected to have joined the RCB squad was later expected to join the squad on April 13.
Virat Kohli-led franchise will hope Steyn can provide a boost to the bottom-placed team, who have lost their first six games this season.