Happy Birthday Dale Steyn! The legendary South African fast bowler is celebrating his 37th birthday today (June 27).
Regarded as the one of the all-time greats of the game, Dale Steyn is not just an inspiration but also a phenomena who captured the imagination of the world with his pace, swing, and fiery attitude on the field.
Dale Steyn is perhaps the most-complete fast bowler of this generation. Frequent injuries throughout his career meant he could not achieve the kind of numbers that he could have but even then his statistics remain one of the best in the business.
Steyn played 93 Test matches for South Africa before announcing his retirement from the longest format to prolong his limited-overs career in international cricket.
Steyn picked 439 wickets in red-ball cricket while in 125 ODIs and 47 T20Is he has grabbed 196 and 64 wickets, respectively. Steyn is the highest wicket-taker in Tests for the Proteas and the 2nd-highest overall for the country in international cricket with 697 wickets, behind former captain Shaun Pollock (823).
Overall Steyn is the 8th-highest wicket taker in Tests but the 3rd-best average among the top-10 bowlers on the list at 22.95 with 26 five-wicket hauls and 5 10-wicket hauls.
He holds the record for topping the ICC rankings for bowlers in Test cricket for the longest amount of time at 263 weeks. Between 2008 and 2014, Steyn lspent a record 2,356 days at the top of the bowlers rankings in Test cricket.
265 international appearances
An unprecedented 263 weeks spent atop @MRFWorldwide ICC Test Bowling Rankings
An all-time great
Happy birthday, Dale Steyn! pic.twitter.com/9D7dsmM8Y9
— ICC (@ICC) June 27, 2020
Had his fitness not been a concern, Steyn would have certainly challenged the likes of Glenn McGrath and James Anderson in terms of numbers in red-ball cricket.
Steyn made his international comeback after a long injury-layoff this year in February when he featured in the T20I series against England and then against Australia. Before that he was out of action since March 2019, the last time he played ODI cricket for South Africa.
But the fire and hunger to play at the international level is still alive in Steyn. The Phalaborwa-born right-arm pacer was likely going to announce his retirement after the T20 World Cup this year but he might hold on to his plans of quitting as the tournament itself remains doubtful amid the current coronavirus crisis.
Steyn also might have to delay his decision until things return to normal after the pandemic.
“I love playing cricket. I wake up every day and I can’t see myself doing anything else right now. I am just putting my hand up and saying I’m available, pick me, don’t pick me and then we’ll see how it goes to the World Cup,” Steyn had said back in February ahead of his comeback.
“This T20 World Cup would be a nice one to go to and then finish off and reassess after the end of this year and then I will kind of figure out what I want to do,” Steyn said reflecting on his future.