South Africa pace spearhead Dale Steyn has said that he doesn’t see himself playing white-ball cricket after the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, thus signalling his retirement from the limited-overs cricket after the prestigious quadrennial event to be held next year in England and Wales.
“I will be trying to get to that World Cup (in England). But after the World Cup, I don’t see myself playing white ball cricket for South Africa. By the time the next World Cup comes, I will be 40,” Steyn said on Thursday.
However, Steyn is hopeful that his experience will help him to earn a place in the South Africa World Cup squad. “If you look at the (SA) batting line-up, our top six have played 1,000 games, but lower half – from eight to eleven who are currently playing – not even 150 games. You need to draw on experience. I hope that will be my trump card when the selection comes to the World Cup. I may not necessarily play all the time. But I think my experience will help with me just being there,” he added.
The 35-year-old was the one who led the South African pace-battery in the 2015 Cricket World Cup and also was responsible for bowling the last final over in the semi-final against New Zealand and was hit for six by Grant Elliott off the penultimate ball. That broke the South African dream of reaching the finals.
The right-arm pacer, who has been plagued with injuries in the recent times, however, insisted that he would love to continue playing Test cricket even after 2019 World Cup.
“When it comes to Test cricket, I would like to play as long as possible. I have finally come out of a cloud of injuries. I broke my shoulder and in my first game on return
(against India at Cape Town), I landed in a foothole. It was rotten luck,” he said.
Steyn, after breaking a bone in his shoulder at the WACA against Australia in November 2016, made a Test return during the match against India in Newlands, Cape Town in January. He bowled just 17.3 overs before leaving the field with a heel injury.
He also struggled for wickets in the recently concluded two-Test series against Sri Lanka in which the Proteas were whitewashed. He got one each in the two innings of the opening Test and none in the second. However, he equalled Shaun Pollock as the highest wicket-taker in Proteas Test history.
“It’s quite difficult to come back from a broken shoulder, especially with your bowling arm. I feel that’s (injury) gone and now I am fit. I played two Test matches without an injury (against Sri Lanka recently), bowled at good pace and never went off the field because of niggles. It’s a big plus,” he added during an event organised by ‘Go Pro’,” Steyn said.
(With PTI inputs)