Dale Steyn is still desperate to play for SA and has set his sights on 2020 T20 World Cup. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Dale Steyn has declared that he is still desperate to represent his country in international cricket and has set his sights on next year's T20 World Cup.

Steyn has not been selected in any format since the end of Sri Lanka’s tour to South Africa in March, during which the fast bowler announced his retirement from Test cricket.

His selection chances have been routinely hampered by injuries, and he missed out on playing in this year's Cricket World Cup due to a shoulder injury, but he insists that international honours remain his goal.

"Obviously, the first prize is always to play for your country. Representing South Africa is the only thing I’ve ever done for my whole career so far, so to get back into that team is my top priority."

The last time Dale Steyn play for SA was during Sri Lanka’s tour to South Africa in March. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

Steyn sees a chance in the upcoming Big Bash League to prepare himself for next year’s ICC T20 World Cup, which will be hosted by Australia, and has just signed for the Melbourne Stars for a short stint at the beginning of the tournament.

"They’re pretty tight on not allowing players to go and play in the Big Bash, but knowing that I’m not available for the Tests, wanting to keep me fit, and also having one eye on the T20 World Cup at the back-end of next year, they probably felt like it was a good call.

"This is great because it keeps me in the running for that World Cup. If I can go over to Australia and get some more experience in those conditions, that could be beneficial."

His involvement in the competition will be limited by the need to be back in South Africa ahead of their ODI series against England, an imposition which Steyn will no doubt be taking as a positive sign of his position with the selectors.

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If he is to receive the call-up for the T20 World Cup, there can be no mistaking what his aim will be for the tournament.

"Winning a World Cup medal for your country would be a big highlight." 

African News Agency (ANA)