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Dale Steyn to Quit White Ball Game After 2019 World Cup

PTI | Updated: July 26, 2018, 6:38 PM IST
Dale Steyn to Quit White Ball Game After 2019 World Cup

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Mumbai: Veteran South Africa paceman Dale Steyn, who has been hit by a spate of injuries over the last two years, is not keen to continue playing limited over cricket after next year's World Cup.

However, he is equally eager to carry on his stint in Test cricket as long as he could. "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 35-year-old Steyn at a promotional event for 'GoPro' here on Thursday.

He expressed hope that his vast experience would earn him a place in the World Cup squad. "If you look at the batting lineup, 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," he said. "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) 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 (injury) gone and 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," he added.

Steyn struggled for wickets and got one each in the two innings of the opening Test and none in the second. "Wickets is something that's not guaranteed. I am happy I came out 100 per cent (fitness wise). That's the biggest cloud I have gotten over, especially after the last two years," he explained.

About South Africa being hammered 2-0 by hosts Lanka, Steyn complimented the islanders for playing to their strength, relying on spin in helpful conditions. "The wickets were tough to play on. Sri Lanka played good cricket. They played their cards right. Preparation was difficult (for SA). They came out trumps. Hats off to them; they played better cricket," he said.

He also backed the English county authorities for doing away with the toss and emphasised that cricket has changed so much there's no point in sticking to age-old traditions. "There's been a bit of talk (of doing away with the toss in international cricket). I think there will be some for it and there will be some against it. It might not happen.

"(Cricket pioneer) W G Grace will be rolling in his grave if he heard something called the free-hit; a batsman can be out but he's not out and score four runs off the ball
because it's a no-ball. Traditional cricket has gone out the window. T20 cricket has changed the game.

"If someone says it's (doing away with the toss) going against the traditional thing, he's blind. The game has changed so much; you have to keep up with the times. England is doing something really well. In County Cricket the toss is gone. You can look at the pitch as the visiting team and can decide what to do.

"I think that's a good way they are doing it, it might be the way to go forward - do away with the toss completely; When a visiting team gets to choose (to bat or field). You get to prepare the pitch, but we get to choose we want to do on it.

He also had a dig at the flat pitches prepared for the limited over games and the rule of one ball being used from one end for 25 overs and not the same ball from both ends for the entire 50 overs of an innings.

"The generally flat wickets in ODIs have taken bowlers completely out of the equation. Two balls - is ridiculous. You take the skill out of the game. I grew up watching Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis (former Pakistan pacers) 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."
First Published: July 26, 2018, 6:38 PM IST
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