Legendary Dale Steyn’s ’Long December’ has finally come to an end
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JOHANNESBURG - Dale Steyn has strapped on the bowling boots for the final time, announcing Tuesday that he was retiring from all cricket thereby officially bringing the curtain down on a career that lasted nearly two decades.
“It’s been 20 years of training, matches, travel, wins, losses, strapped feet, jetlag, joy and brotherhood. There are too many memories to tell. Too many faces to thank,” Steyn wrote in a post on social media.
“Today I officially retire from the game I love the most. Bitter sweet but grateful. Thank you to everyone from family to teammates, journalists to fans, it’s been a incredible journey together.”
He announced his retirement by quoting the Counting Crows song, ‘A long December,’ a ’ reflective ballad, that includes the line: ‘Maybe this year will be better than the last.’
Steyn’s last year, certainly didn’t reflect the great deeds that saw him become one of the most outstanding bowlers of his generation. The Covid pandemic has robbed cricket fans of giving him a proper and worthy send-off.
The 38-year-old, Steyn announced his retirement from Test cricket in August 2019.
Theoretically he was still available for the Proteas in the limited overs formats, often reminding selectors of that and saying his phone hadn’t rung.
However he played his last match for South Africa in a T20 International against Australia at the Wanderers in February last year.
Since then he has kept himself busy on the field with stints in a few T20 Leagues, hoping he could still draw the national selectors’ attention for this year’s T20 World Cup.
Sadly that was not to be for Steyn and his record will reflect that his last match as a professional, was for the Quetta Gladiators against the Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League in March this year.
In 265 international matches, he claimed 699 wickets, and in all he claimed 1165 wickets in a career that took from Islamabad to Melbourne, Kandy to Kingston, and several other places in between.
“And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass”