South African fast bowler and the country’s highest Test wicket-taker, Dale Steyn, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Tuesday.
Steyn closed the curtain on a 20-year career in which he was heralded as the country’s greatest ever fast bowler.
Steyn retired from Test cricket in 2019 but had been available for ODIs and T20Is. Steyn had even hoped to play at the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates later this year, though he had not featured in the team since February last year.
At his peak, Steyn was a master of late away swing with the new ball and reverse swing with the old ball, delivered at a high pace.
“It has been 20 years of training, matches, travel, wins, losses, strapped feet, jet lag, joy and brotherhood. Today I officially retire from the game I love the most. Bittersweet, but grateful,” Steyn wrote in a statement he posted on Twitter.
Steyn took 699 international wickets and is regarded as one of the best fast bowlers of his generation with extreme pace in his prime and the ability to swing the ball in both directions.
Steyn would have taken many more wickets but because of injuries later in his career, especially a shoulder problem, he was restricted to only 11 Tests after 2015.
He featured in 93 Tests in all, averaging 22.95 with the ball at a strike rate of 42.30. Steyn took a total of 439 Test wickets in his 20-year career and was ranked 1st for six years according to the International Cricket Council’s rankings.
The fast-bowler took 196 wickets in the ODI format and 64 wickets in T20Is. Steyn was a key part of the South African side that rose to number one in the test rankings in 2012.
He had not played any match since March this year when he made the last of three appearances for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Karachi.
He said at the time that he wanted to continue playing white-ball international cricket and was selected for the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England.
But he had to withdraw from the tournament without playing a match because of a shoulder injury and failed to add to his 196 one-day internationals wickets.
No doubt that Steyn has indeed left his mark on the cricketing world as the cricketers from across the world termed him “the best” and “all-time great” after his announcement.—AFP