Plagued by injuries over the last couple of years, South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn is aiming to retire from limited-overs formats after the 2019 World Cup in England.
“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 at a promotional event in Mumbai on Thursday.
Two new balls is ridiculous – Steyn
Like several big names in the cricket fraternity – including Sachin Tendulkar, Waqar Younis and Virat Kohli – said recently, Dale Steyn has also spoken about how flat pitches and two new balls are going against bowlers in ODIs.
“The generally flat wickets in ODIs have taken bowlers completely out of the equation,” he said. “Two [new] balls – is ridiculous. You take the skill out of the game. I grew up watching Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis reversing the ball. But now try naming one player reverse-swinging the ball.
“Players are going to the extent of taking sand paper on the field. It might sound funny, but it’s a desperate plea for cricket to change. Players are getting into more trouble trying to make the ball do something.”
Steyn was hopeful that his experience would help him earn a place in the World Cup squad.
“If you look at the [South Africa] 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.”
Steyn last played an ODI nearly two years ago – in October 2016 against Australia. Steyn has not been picked in ODIs since then and the team management, including coach Ottis Gibson, has previously made it clear that the quick should focus on red-ball fitness. Steyn was also not included in South Africa’s ODI squad to play Sri Lanka in five matches starting Sunday.
However, Steyn said 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 in Cape Town), I landed in a foothole. It was rotten luck.
“It’s quite difficult to come back from a broken shoulder, especially with your bowling arm. I feel that’s 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.”
Steyn, however, struggled for wickets against Sri Lanka. He picked one each in the two innings of the opening Test and none in the second, leaving him level with Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s highest wicket-taker on 421.