South African legend Dale Steyn announced on Tuesday that he is calling it quits from all forms of cricket. With this, the Proteas spearhead bowler during his active days puts an end to his 16-year long international career. He had announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2019.
Steyn represented the national side in 93 Tests, 125 ODIs, and 47 T20Is claiming 439 wickets, 196 wickets, and 64 wickets, respectively under his name.
“It’s been 20 years since training, matches, travel, wins, losses, strapped feet, jetlag, joy, and brotherhood. There are too many memories to tell. Too many faces to thank. So I left it to the experts, to sum up, my favourite band, the Counting Crows,” Steyn wrote in his announcement.
“Today I officially retire from the game I love the most. Bittersweet but grateful. Thank you, everyone, from family to teammates, journalists to fans, it’s been an incredible journey together.”
The fierce fast bowler made his ODI debut for Africa XI against Asia XI in 2005 at Centurion. He returned his best figures of 6 for 39 in Port Elizabeth against Pakistan in 2013.
South Africa’s most fearsome bowler, Steyn made his debut for the side just when he was coming with an experience of only seven first-class. He played his first international match in 2004 against England. Although his initial years were not that impactful, he proved his lethality by the 2007-08 summer. Since then he started getting regarded as the bowler to give the most scare to batsmen. In the first Test in Johannesburg, he clinched a 10-wicket haul.
Soon enough in 2008, he became the fastest South African bowler to have 100 Test wickets under his belt. No other Proteas has taken more wickets in Test cricket than Dale Steyn (439 wickets).
The 38-year-old made his T20I debut in 2007 in a clash against New Zealand. Just in his second T20I game, which was against West Indies, he registered his career-best figures of 3-0-9-4.
He played his last ODI in 2019 against Sri Lanka and his last T20I, also his last international match, against Australia in February last year.
Multiple injuries kept him out of action towards the end of his career. Although he made an impressive comeback to the field during 2018-19 after a hiatus, a shoulder injury again kept him off the field and marred his chances of playing in the World Cup. He sustained the injury during the 2019 season of the Indian Premier League.
Steyn had a successful Indian Premier League career, appearing for four teams in the tournament. These include Deccan Chargers, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Gujarat Lions in the IPL. His other franchise cricket ventures include Caribbean Premier League, Big Bash League, and Pakistan Super League. His teams across the various leagues include Brisbane Heat, Jamaica Tallawahs, Cape Town Knight Riders, Cape Town Blitz, Glasgow Giants, Melbourne Stars, Islamabad United, Kandy Tuskers, and Quetta Gladiators.
Dale Steyn has not played in the IPL since 2020. He pulled out of the tournament in 2021, clarifying that he needed some time off the field, emphasizing that he was not retiring. He played his last franchise game in March this year. It was a Pakistan Super League match between Quetta Gladiators and Multan Sultans. He returned figures of 3.4-0-34-1 in the game.
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