South Africa fast-bowling legend - Dale Steyn - has announced his retirement from all cricket on Tuesday, August 31. Steyn featured in 93 Tests, 125 ODIs and 47 T20Is in an international career spanning nearly 17 years and stands as South Africa's highest wicket-taker in Tests with 439 scalps.
Steyn had announced his retirement from Test cricket back in August 2019, to prolong his career marred by injuries. Having missed out on South Africa's central contract the following year, he was picked in the T20I side and had expressed his desire to play in the T20 World Cup, before the covid-19 pandemic. His last international appearance came in February 2020 - during the home T20I series against Australia.
Earlier this year, the 38-year-old had made himself unavailable for the IPL, where he represented the Royal Challengers Bangalore, while adding that he had no intentions to retire and that he looked forward to play in other T20I leagues.
"And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than last," Steyn said in his statement. "I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.
"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.
"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."
Announcement. pic.twitter.com/ZvOoeFkp8w— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) August 31, 2021
Steyn will go down as one of game's finest Test-match bowlers, having bagged 439 wickets - the most for South Africa - at 22.95. His bowling strike-rate - an astonising 42.3 - is the best among bowlers with 250 wickets or more. He was the top-ranked Test bowler for a significant part of his career.
He accounted for 196 wickets at 25.96 from 125 ODIs and 64 at 18.36 in 47 T20Is and stands as South Africa's second-highest wicket-taker in international cricket with 697 scalps, only behind Shaun Pollock (823).
Steyn was also a much sought after bowler across various Global T20 Leagues, having represented 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.
His last T20 game came for the Quetta Gladiators against Multan Sultans at the PSL in March this year.