Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Dale Steyn, arguably the best pace bowler South Africa has ever produced, has announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect.
Steyn walks away from the longest format as South Africa’s highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 439 wickets in 93 Tests at an average of 22.95.
“Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much,” Steyn, who will continue to play ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals, was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “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. Thank you.”
During his illustrious Test career, Steyn was the top-ranked Test bowler for a record-breaking 263 weeks from 2008 to 2014.
However, Steyn’s career has been plagued with injuries as of late as he broke a bone in his shoulder during South Africa’s tour of Australia towards the end of 2016.
He returned 14 months later against India and made his presence felt almost immediately as he took a wicket on his 14th ball.
However, he was sidelined again with a serious heel injury and during the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan in Centurion, Steyn overtook Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s highest wicket-taker in Test history when he picked up his 422nd wicket.
“Dale is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats of cricket,” Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe said. “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.”