South African Dale Steyn, one of the great fast bowlers of the modern era, announced his retirement from Test cricket in a bid to extend his longevity in the shorter forms of the game here on Monday.
Steyn, who made his international debut against England in 2004 and last played a Test in February against Sri Lanka, is still contracted in the white-ball form of the game for the 2019/20 season and therefore remains available for South Africa in one-day internationals and T20s.
Dale Steyn took 439 wickets in 93 Tests at an average of 22.95.
He held the top spot in the International Cricket Council’s Test bowler rankings for a record 263 weeks between 2008 and 2014.
“Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much,” said Steyn, his country’s leading Test wicket-taker of all time and one of the top 10 in the history of the game.
“In my opinion Test cricket is the best version of this game. It tests you mentally, physically, emotionally. It’s terrible to consider never playing another Test again but what’s more terrifying is the thought of never playing again at all.
“So I will be focusing on ODIs and T20s for the rest of my career to maximize my full potential and ensure my longevity in this sport… I look forward to continuing to play for the Proteas in the shorter formats”, he said.
Steyn was one of South Africa’s greatest match-winners. South Africa won 48 of the Tests in which he played and he was a member of South African teams that won consecutive series in England and Australia in both 2008 and 2012, becoming the number one ranked team in the world in 2012.
One of his greatest performances was in the second Test against Australia in Melbourne in 2008.