After 20 years as a cricketer, legendary Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn has announced his retirement from all cricket effectively immediately.
Steyn, 38, made the announcement via Twitter on Tuesday, 31 August, describing it as a “bittersweet but grateful” moment.
Dale Steyn retires: ‘An incredible journey’
“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,” he wrote.
“So I left it to the experts to sum up, my favourite band, the Counting Crows. Today, I officially retire from the game I love the most. Bittersweet but grateful. Thank you to everyone, from family to teammates, journalists to fans – it’s been an incredible journey together.”
Steyn retires as the Proteas‘ leading wicket taker in Tests, having racked up 439 wickets from 93 matches. He also took 196 wickets in 125 one day internationals (ODIs) and 64 wickets in 47 T20 internationals.
He had already retired from Test cricket, but had remained available for possible selection in limited-over matches until his announcement on Tuesday.
The speedster was also a regular feature on the franchise T20 circuit around the world until March this year when he played for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League.
The latter part of his career was marred by injuries, including a shoulder one in 2016 that kept him out of Test selection for long periods.
Steyn was initially included in South Africa’s squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, but pulled out because of his recurring shoulder problem. He was considered an outside prospect for inclusion in the squad for this year’s T20 World Cup.
He had hoped to keep playing well into his late thirties – similar to England’s James Anderson – but he has now called time on his career.
Another Proteas legend, batsman AB de Villiers, was among the first to react to Steyn’s retirement announcement. “Great player, great man, amazing memories! you picked a good song to sign off my bud. Legend forever!” he tweeted.
“Ann all-time great. All the best,” added the International Cricket Council (ICC), while England Cricket replied, “Congratulations on a wonderful career and all the best with whatever comes next!”