South Africa veteran pacer Dale Steyn has announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect in a bid to prolong his white-ball career.
The 36-year-old decision brings to a close a glittering Test career that saw him overtake Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s all-time leading wicket-taker in the five-day format. Overall in his Test career, Steyn bagged 439 wickets in 93 appearances at an average of less than 23.
The right-armed modern-day great had been hampered by a spate of injuries over the past three years beginning with a fractured shoulder in South Africa’s 2016 tour of Australia. His recent World Cup in England for the Proteas also came to a sad end with the pacer being ruled out of the tournament without playing a single game.
“Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much. In my opinion Test cricket is the best version of this game,” Steyn said on his Test retirement.
#CSAnews #BreakingNews @DaleSteyn62 has brought down the curtain on one of the great fast bowling Test careers of the modern era when he announced his retirement from red-ball cricket with immediate effect. pic.twitter.com/L3HmWXKRwV— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) August 5, 2019
“It tests you mentally, physically, emotionally. It’s terrible to consider never playing another Test again but what’s more terrifying is the thought of never playing again at all.
“So, I will be focusing on ODIs and T20s for the rest of my career to maximise my full potential and ensure my longevity in this sport. I’d like to thank everyone in cricket, no one specific, because everyone has been a part of my journey. And I look forward to continuing to play for the Proteas in the shorter formats.”
Steyn retires as the fifth-highest Test wicket-taker among pacers in the all-time list with only James Anderson, Glenn McGrath, Courtney Walsh and Stuart Broad ahead of him.
Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe hailed Steyn’s contributions to Proteas cricket following his decision to retire from Test cricket.
“Dale is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats of cricket. From the time he made his Test debut against England in 2004 and dismissed their captain, Michael Vaughan, with a superb delivery, he has been one of the standout fast bowlers in world cricket,” the CSA chief executive stated.
“He has led the South African attack brilliantly and has set the standard for our future generations to follow. More than that he has been a wonderful mentor to our next generation of speedsters.
“We were saddened to hear of his decision, but it is one that management has to accept, and we thank him for his significant contribution to the sport and to the nation and wish him everything of the very best for the future.”
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