The Titans are set to be main beneficiaries of Dale Steyn’s much-anticipated comeback to competitive cricket after a long injury-induced layoff.
Steyn has not played since breaking down on the second morning of the first Test against Australia at the WACA in Perth last November, but the fast bowler is now close to returning to action.
He will not, though, be working his way back in the colours of Western Province or the Cape Cobras - the franchise he has been part of the past seven years - but instead his boyhood team up in Centurion.
“If you look at any other domestic player that is about to start the season, I’d say I’m on the same level as they are right now. I’m probably two or three weeks away from playing my first game, which I am really excited about,” Steyn said.
“Once I walk into the team, my job will be to lead the attack; bowl fast and try and take wickets.”
The wait is over. 👊🏼 https://t.co/LfDAgm2lpI
This is certainly encouraging news for the Proteas, who recently suffered a 3-1 Test series defeat to England. The national team’s next assignment is a two-Test series against Bangladesh at the end of September, but Steyn will certainly need to prove his fitness by playing a couple of domestic matches first.
The Titans’ provincial affiliate, Northerns, are in action in the Africa T20 Cup on the first weekend in September and it will be interesting to see whether Steyn does indeed run out in the light blue jumper.
The 34-year-old speedster is certainly excited in joining up with his former Proteas teammate Mark Boucher at SuperSport Park.
"It is going to be fantastic working with him (Boucher) again. As a player, I looked up to him. He knows me so well, he knows me as a person and also knows about my bowling action, so I am looking forward to that, especially after this long delay with the broken shoulder,” Steyn said.
Steyn won many admirers during his time at Newlands and Cobras chief executive Nabeal Dien wished “The Phalaborwa Express” well on returning home.
“As Dale leaves the Oaks, he will hopefully remember the Cobras and their management staff with glee; we wish him a long career. It is not the age that decides how many wickets he will still take. If his body remains trouble free and holds up well, expect him to still make an international impact over a significant period if that inner fire burns brightly,” Dien remarked.
“We sincerely hope that having taken 417 wickets in 85 Tests, Dale will proceed to 500. We know he has the inner drive and the determination to succeed; it is a matter of his body holding up after a long and illustrious career for South Africa.”