South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, Dale Steyn, announced his retirement from the format on Monday.
In explaining his decision, the 36-year-old Steyn said he had to take the decision that was in the best interests of prolonging his career. Bringing down the curtain on a 15-year career since making his Test debut in 2004, Steyn claimed 439 wickets from 93 matches at an incredible average of 22.95.
He continues to be a nationally contracted player for the 2019/2020 season in white-ball cricket and therefore remains available for SA in both One-Day International and T20 International cricket.
“Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much,” said Steyn.
“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.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) Chief Executive Thabang Moroe led the tributes to South Africa’s leading Test wicket-taker of all time and one of the top-10 in the history of the game.
“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. 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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