Dale Steyn will play in the Big Bash League for the first time as he plays for the Melbourne Stars. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The South African flavour in the 2019/20 Big Bash League is all set to increase. After Brisbane Heat signed AB de Villiers and Sydney Thunder got the services of Chris Morris, the Melbourne Stars have roped in Dale Steyn for the upcoming edition. Steyn is South Africa's highest wicket taker in Test cricket with 439 scalps, had retired last month from the longest format. He is still part of South Africa's scheme of things in limited over cricket. He was, however, not included in the team that toured India with the selectors deciding that he was not medically ready.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Steyn said this was a good opportunity for him. It's something that I've wanted to do for a while, play Big Bash. Unfortunately representing the Proteas for the bulk of my career over Christmas time we've always got Test matches on, the Boxing Day and New Year's Test matches. So I haven't been available. But since retiring from Test cricket, it's opened up a little window for me while the Proteas play red-ball cricket," Steyn said.
Steyn had announced his Test retirement in August 2019 but reiterated that he will continue to play in T20Is and ODIs for South Africa. Over the last few years, Steyn’s cricketing career has been marred by injuries and he was struggling to keep up with his fitness for the Test cricket. He, however, continues to be a national contracted player for the 2019/2020 season in white-ball cricket and therefore remains available for the Standard Bank Proteas in both One-Day International and T20 International cricket, the Cricket South Africa said.
"Today I walk away from a format of the game I love so much. In my opinion Test cricket is the best version of this game. It tests you mentally, physically, emotionally," the CSA quoted Steyn as saying. "It’s terrible to consider never playing another Test again but what’s more terrifying is the thought of never playing again at all. So I will be focusing on ODIs and T20s for the rest of my career to maximise my full potential and ensure my longevity in this sport. I’d like to thank everyone in cricket, no one specific, because everyone has been a part of my journey. And I look forward to continuing to play for the Proteas in the shorter formats. Thank you," he said.