Dale Steyn, South Africa’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, announced his retirement from all cricket on Tuesday.
Steyn, 38, made the announcement on social media, saying he
was “bittersweet but grateful”.
“It’s been 20 years of training, matches, travel, wins,
losses, strapped feet, jetlag, joy and brotherhood,” he said.
“Thank you to everyone, from family to team-mates,
journalists to fans, it’s been an incredible journey together.”
Steyn took 439 wickets in 93 Test matches before announcing
his retirement from the five-day format in 2019.
He said at the time that he wanted to continue playing
white-ball international cricket and was selected for the 2019 Cricket World
Cup in England.
But he had to withdraw from the tournament without playing a
match because of a shoulder injury and failed to add to his 196 one-day
He played in a T20 international series against Australia in
February 2020 and was expected to play in the T20 World Cup later that year
before it was postponed because of Covid-19. He took 64 wickets in the short
He had not played any cricket since March this year when he
made the last of three appearances for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan
Super League in Karachi.
At his peak, Steyn was a master of late away swing with the
new ball and reverse swing with the old ball, delivered at high pace.
He spent six years as the number one bowler in Test cricket
according to the International Cricket Council’s rankings.
Arguably his greatest performance was when he made his
highest Test score of 76 and had match figures of 10 wickets for 154 runs in
helping South Africa beat Australia in Melbourne in 2008/09 to clinch their
first series win in Australia.
Steyn’s announcement drew immediate tributes on Twitter.
“Great player, great man, amazing memories,”
former Proteas team-mate AB de Villiers said.
England’s James Anderson described Steyn as “The
Best”, while Australia’s Pat Cummins wrote Steyn had “set the
standard” for fast bowlers “for 20 years”.