An era in world cricket ended on Monday when Dale Steyn, unarguably the finest South Africa men’s fast bowler ever and arguably the best the game has yet seen, hung up his whites.
In 93 Tests, Steyn took 439 wickets — the South Africa record, which puts him eighth on the all-time list — at an average of 22.95, and rattled all who faced him with a flash of his cartoonly crazy eyes.
Steyn, 36, will no longer play red-ball cricket but remains available in the other formats.
“Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much,” Steyn was quoted as saying in a Cricket South Africa (CSA) statement.
“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.
“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 has struggled with shoulder and heel injuries for much of the past four years.
He has played in only a third of South Africa’s 36 Tests measured from the match against England at Kingsmead in December 2015 — when he broke his shoulder.
Steyn was shipped home from the World Cup this year without having played a match, also because of a shoulder problem.
“Dale is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats of cricket,” CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe was quoted as saying.
“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.
“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.”
BY: TELFORD VICE IN LONDON
SOURCE: TMG DIGITAL