Steyn announces retirement from Test cricket

South Africa’s all-time leading Test wicket taker Dale Steyn has announced he’s hanging up his bowling boots in the longest format of the game.

But Steyn – who finishes his Test career with 439 scalps at 22.95 from 93 Tests, the fifth-most ever by a fast bowler – has vowed to continue playing for the Proteas in white-ball cricket.

Steyn’s Test wickets on Aussie soil

“Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much,” the 36-year-old said in a statement issued by Cricket South Africa. “In my opinion Test cricket is the best version of this game. 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.

“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.”

Steyn reflects on Test wicket record

It brings to an end an almost 15-year Test career, having debuted against England in December 2004.

Possessor of fierce eyes and a whippy action that generated devastating speed and late swing, Steyn quickly became one of the most feared bowlers in world cricket.

The year 2008 proved a high watermark, taking 74 wickets for the calendar year – the most by a fast bowler this century – and capping it with a series victory over Australia on their home turf.

He went on to help South Africa defeat their southern hemisphere rivals another two times in Test tours of Australia.

The right-armer has however battled to get his body right for Test cricket over the past two-and-a-half years, managing just eight Tests in that period.

Dale Steyn’s favourite Australian opponent

“There were periods of, I wouldn’t say full-on depression, but, you play cricket your entire life, I’ve played for 14 years for South Africa now, it’s your job,” he told last year during South Africa’s limited-overs tour of Australia.

“You turn the telly on and you see the guys are busy playing and they’re struggling, or they’re doing really well and you want to be there.

“So there was those moments that I’d have little dips, almost like depression.”

‘Crazy eyes’ Steyn on fast bowling love

Steyn missed South Africa’s disappointing recent World Cup campaign in the United Kingdom, where they finished seventh and missed the semi-finals, with a shoulder injury.

He went past Shaun Pollock’s record for the most Test wickets by a South African earlier this year, but only played a further two Tests as the Proteas subsequently succumbed to a shock series defeat to Sri Lanka.

Among current players, only Stuart Broad (450) and James Anderson (575) have claimed more Test victims than Steyn, while Courtney Walsh and Glenn McGrath are the only other pacemen to have taken more wickets.

Steyn reflects on highest Test score

“Dale is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats of cricket,” CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said. “From the time he made his Test debut … he has been one of the standout fast bowlers in world cricket.

“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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Publish date : 2019-08-05 15:06:36

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