‘Bittersweet but grateful’ – Dale Steyn brings curtain down on illustrious career

“It’s been 20 years of training, matches, travel, wins, losses, strapped feet, jet lag, joy, and brotherhood” © Getty Images

Dale Steyn has announced his decision to retire from cricket, bringing the curtain down on one of the most outstanding careers in the game. Steyn, 38, has been in and out of the game in recent years because of injuries, and, writing on his Twitter handle, summed up his state of mind as “bitter sweet but grateful”.

“It’s been 20 years of training, matches, travel, wins, losses, strapped feet, jet lag, joy, and brotherhood. There are too many memories to tell. Too many faces to thank,” Steyn wrote, quoting lines from the Counting Crows’ A Long December to express himself. “Today I officially retire from the game I love the most. Bitter sweet but grateful.

“Thank you to everyone, from family to teammates, journalists to fans, it’s been a incredible journey together.”

In January, Steyn had made himself unavailable for Royal Challengers Bangalore’s campaign at the 2021 edition of the IPL, adding, however, that he wasn’t retiring from the game, but that he would play other T20 leagues “nicely spaced out” to allow him to pursue other things. He had left Test cricket in August 2019. In 2020, having missed out on a central contract with South Africa, Steyn was picked in their T20I team and made it clear he would be looking to play in the T20 World Cup that year. This was shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic struck and the World Cup was called off.

After starting his representative cricket career in 2003 in a first-class match for Northerns, Steyn got his South Africa cap the following year, in a Test against England in Port Elizabeth. He went on to play 93 Test matches (439 wickets at an average of 22.95), 125 ODIs (196, 25.95) and 47 T20Is (64, 18.35). At his peak, Steyn was also a much sought-after player in T20 leagues around the world, playing for franchises and clubs in England, India, Australia, Pakistan, the West Indies and Sri Lanka, apart from in South Africa.

More to follow…

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