Proteas coach Ottis Gibson believes veteran fast bowler Dale Steyn has earned the right to “design” his “own exit” from the international game when he feels it is time to retire.
The 35-year-old Steyn is now South Africa’s leading bowler in Test cricket but his role in the side has noticeably changed after an exended time on the sidelines due to injury.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis said Steyn has not said anything about his future plans but it is thought that the paceman will give up limited-overs cricket after this year’s World Cup and get maybe another two years of Test cricket under his belt.
Gibson is of the view that Steyn still has the hunger and desire to perform at the highest level and expects his wickets to come a lot quicker now that he is fully fit.
The South Africa mentor said of Steyn: “He is 35 and steaming in with a smile on his face and the Dale Steyn angry eyes are back again.
“I like players to almost design their own exit in a way. Sit and think to yourself how you want to leave the game and then communicate that to me or CSA so that we can manage it properly.
“The one thing you don’t want is for a player of his quality to go on too long or feel like he’s left the game too early. You don’t want to drop a player of that calibre.
“If he feels that he’s got two more years in him and he looks after himself very well, then so be it.
“When he broke the record, I told him that his next 100 wickets will come a lot quicker than the last 100, as you can see from how he is performing on the field.”
Steyn is set to line up for the Proteas in the third and final Test against Pakistan starting at the Wanderers on Friday.
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