South African fast bowler Dale Steyn has just said goodbye to cricket from all forms. Steyn, who has the most Test wickets for South Africa, stopped playing in the Tests in 2019. He wanted to keep his focus on limited-overs cricket then on. However, he played the last ODI for South Africa in March 2019, and the last T20I that he played was in February 2020.
Steyn said earlier that he would think about the future of his career after the ICC T20 World Cup 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Cup was postponed. This year, the T20 World Cup is going to be hosted by India in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). But before that, the 38-year-old Steyn has made the decision to retire.
Although Steyn withdrew from the IPL in 2021, he still played in the PSL 2021. In the last match of his career, he played for the Quetta Gladiators in that tournament against the Multan Sultans.
Steyn has announced his retirement, quoting a long December song line from rock band Counting Crows. He said in his statement, “It’s been 20 years since training, matches, travel, wins, losses, strapped feet, jetlag, joy, and brotherhood. There are too many memories to tell. Too many faces to thank. So I left it to the experts to sum up, my favorite band, the Counting Crows.”
Being grateful to everyone and citing his cricket career, he wrote, “Today I officially retire from the game I love the most. Bittersweet but grateful. Thank you, everyone, from family to teammates, journalists to fans, it’s been an incredible journey together.”
Steyn made his international debut in 2004 in a Test match in Port Elizabeth against England. He has taken 493 wickets in 93 matches at an average of 22.95. He took 400 wickets in Tests as the second South African bowler after Shaun Pollock and later overtook Pollock. Steyn also has the best strike rate among bowlers who have taken at least 300 wickets in Test history (42.3).
Steyn was called “Steyn-Gun” because of his bowling speed. He was one of the attractions of a generation of fast bowlers. In January 2010, he topped the ICC Test bowler rankings. In all, he was the number one bowler in the Test rankings for almost seven years in his career.
However, like all other fast bowlers, Steyn suffered from an injury. A shoulder injury during the tour of Australia in November 2016 was almost like ending his career. He did not play Test matches for more than a year after that.
One of the best pacers of the era, he has played 125 ODIs in his career and has scalped 196 wickets there. Besides, he has taken 64 wickets playing 47 T20Is. Steyn was also a regular name in franchise-based leagues and domestic T20 leagues almost everywhere.
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