South African legend Dale Steyn announces retirement from cricket
South African fast bowler Dale Steyn has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The legendary pacer informed about the same through a social media post on Tuesday. Steyn is one of the greatest seamers the world has seen. His brute pace and sharp movement made him the most fearsome bowler of the modern era, especially with the red ball. Here's more.
"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," said Steyn in his statement. "Today I officially retire from the game I love the most. Bitter sweet but grateful. Thank you everyone, from family to teammates, journalists to fans, it's been an incredible journey together."
In a career spanning nearly 16 years, Steyn emerged as the linchpin of South African bowling attack across formats. He has snapped up a record 699 wickets from 265 internationals at an incredible average of 23.37. Meanwhile, he is the leading wicket-taker for SA and fifth-highest among fast bowlers in Test cricket. Steyn has claimed 439 scalps in 93 Tests at 22.95.
Steyn was an equally potent bowler in white-ball cricket. He accounted for 196 wickets at a remarkable average of 25.95. This includes a best match haul of 6/39. Steyn also took 64 wickets from 47 T20Is at just 18.35.
Steyn owns the most number of Test scalps among the visiting fast bowlers in Asia. He leads the chart with 92 wickets from 22 matches at 24.11. Shane Warne leads the overall tally with 127 wickets, followed by Daniel Vettori (98), Nathan Lyon (95). Notably, Steyn has a lead of 15 scalps from the fifth-placed Courtney Walsh (77).
During an illustrious career, Steyn played for several domestic franchises - Deccan Chargers, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Brisbane Heat, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Gujarat Lions, Jamaica Tallawahs, Cape Town Knight Riders, Cape Town Blitz, Glasgow Giants, Melbourne Stars, Islamabad United, Kandy Tuskers, and Quetta Gladiators. In the IPL, Steyn picked up 97 wickets from 95 matches at an impressive average of 25.85.
Steyn could have shattered many more records in his career. However, fitness issues mowed down his international stints after 2015. In December 2015, he injured his shoulder in the Durban Test against England. He suffered a similar injury a year later. Steyn played sporadically thereafter. Steyn sustained another shoulder problem during the IPL 2019. As a result, he missed the entire World Cup.
In January 2021, Steyn made himself unavailable for the 2021 IPL season. He also clarified that he doesn't intend to play for any other franchise. Steyn had retired from Test cricket in August 2019. He was not included in South Africa's central contract a year later. Steyn played his last international (T20I) in February 2020 against Australia at Johannesburg.
Steyn is the only fast bowler in Test history to have taken five-wicket hauls against nine Test-playing nations (excluding Ireland and Afghanistan). The oppositions include Australia, Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Zimbabwe.