New Delhi: South African fast bowler Dale Steyn is hoping to make a triumphant farewell to one-day international cricket at the 2019 World Cup by delivering the trophy to the Proteas for the first time.
Steyn, who will turn 36 three days before South Africa’s World Cup opening match against England on 30 May next year, has spent most of the past three years struggling to overcome an assortment of injuries. But he believes his experience could be valuable in England. He is not part of South Africa’s squad for a three-match one-day series in Sri Lanka but aims to force his way back into contention during his country’s home season, which includes one-day series against Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Steyn has played 116 ODIs for his country but cannot see a future for himself past the format’s flagship competition next summer.
“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,” said the seamer during an event organised by Go Pro.
With 178 wickets to his name, Steyn is the nation’s seventh most prolific wicket-taker in ODIs, but hasn’t represented the Proteas in the format since 2016.
“If you look at the (SA) batting line-up, our top six have played 1,000 games, but the lower half – from Nos.8-11 who are currently playing – not even 150 games. You need to draw on experience,” reasoned the 35-year-old.
“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 me just being there.”
On the topic of Test cricket, the quick spoke in an evergreen manner about the format, having come through two Tests against Sri Lanka without ailment. His 421 Test wickets is a joint-South African record.
“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 foothold. It was rotten luck.
“It’s quite difficult to come back from a broken shoulder, especially with your bowling arm. I feel that [the injury] is gone and now I am fit. I played two Test matches without an injury, bowled at a good pace and never went off the field because of niggles. It’s a big plus.”
Steyn will be hoping that fitness remains when South Africa travel to England for the 2019 Cricket World Cup.