Dale Steyn set to make international return against England, eager to play in the T20 World Cup
South African pacer Dale Steyn has confirmed that he will return to international cricket in South Africa's limited-overs series versus England starting from February 4th. The 36-year-old, who last made an appearance for his national team in March 2019 versus Sri Lanka, has also expressed his willingness to gain match-fitness and play in the ICC T20 World Cup later in October.
Steyn was named in South Africa's squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 but got ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. The pacer, who is currently playing for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, will feature in the competition for the final time in the Melbourne derby against the Melbourne Renegades.
While speaking to cricket.com.au, Steyn confirmed the news of featuring in the national side for 3-match ODIs and T20Is for South Africa next month.
I know I'll be part of (the T20 series against England), that was the last conversation I've had. I get a nice two-week break, then straight into it again.
I'll be around for the ODIs – to be honest, I don't know how much I'll play (the ODIs) … I'll be there for that and then definitely the T20s.
Steyn has suffered from constant injuries over the years, especially his career-threatening shoulder injury during South Africa's tour of Australia in November 2016. However, he has eyed a comeback into the national side for the T20 World Cup, which will take place in Australia from October 18th.
That (T20 World Cup) is very much on my agenda... I'm starting to enjoy my cricket a lot more now, I think four overs is a lot easier on the body than the Test matches are.
Regarded as one of the best fast pacers that South Africa has ever produced, Steyn announced his retirement from the red-ball cricket in August 2019 to focus on limited-overs cricket. The second-highest wicket-taker from South Africa in all formats combined, Steyn is four wickets away from becoming the 15th bowler in history to claim 700 international wickets.
Dale Steyn, who took 15 wickets in the Mzansi Super League 2019 at an average of 15.13, said that the competition produced a lot of bowlers who could feature for the national side in the days to come. Hopeful of receiving a positive response from the selectors, he also expressed how the veterans are still performing well in recent times and are likely on the verge of getting called up for South Africa yet again.
So I'm putting my hand up for that and then I'll wait and see how selections goes. After the MSL (Mzansi Super League) that we played, there were a lot of players that come out – some fantastic bowlers.
But the old guys still seem to do the trick – AB (de Villiers) was there, Imran Tahir was taking wickets, I was up in the wickets. Maybe we will get the nod, maybe we don't - but I'm putting my hand up.