Dale Steyn is the leading South African wicket-taker in the Test format, with 439 scalps at a superb average of 22.95 and an excellent strike-rate of 42.3. Photo: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Proteas pace ace Dale Steyn has announced his retirement from Test cricket and all other forms of the first-class game, but will continue to play in the limited-overs arena.

The 36-year-old speedster has had a stellar career in the longest format of the game, having played in 93 Test matches and 141 first-class fixtures since 2003.

Steyn is the leading South African wicket-taker in the Test format, with 439 scalps at a superb average of 22.95 and an excellent strike-rate of 42.3.

In a statement from Cricket South Africa on Monday, Steyn said that he will still be available for the Proteas ODI and T20 teams, and that he is contracted for the 2019/20 season.

“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,” Steyn said.

“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.”

Steyn has battled with injuries over the last few years, and had to pull out of the World Cup with his latest shoulder injury.

He had missed the first two games against England and Bangladesh , and withdrew from the squad ahead of the India clash. He was replaced by Beuran Hendricks.

But now Steyn is likely to have an eye on the T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November 2020.

He has claimed 196 wickets in 125 ODIs, and 61 in 44 T20 Internationals.

“Dale is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats of cricket. From the time he made his Test debut against England in 2004 and dismissed their captain Michael Vaughan with a superb delivery, he has been one of the stand-out fast bowlers in world cricket,” Cricket SA chief executive Thabang Moroe said on Monday.

“He has led the South African attack brilliantly and has set the standard for our future generations to follow.

“More than that, he has been a wonderful mentor to our next generation of speedsters.

“We were saddened to hear of his decision, but it is one that management has to accept.

“And we thank him for his significant contribution to the sport and to the nation, and wish him everything of the very best for the future.”

@ashfakmohamed


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