Confinement isn't a good fit for the legendary Proteas quick, known for loving the outdoors. But it might delay his international retirement...
Proteas fast-bowling legend Dale Steyn has admitted that the Covid-19 lockdown will probably cause him to become a raving lunatic by week three, such is his love of the outdoors. And the prospect of most of the 2020 cricket calendar being wiped out, even though it could theoretically prolong his career by another year, is also not filling him with too much joy.
Steyn grew up on the border of the Kruger National Park in Phalaborwa so it is no surprise that he is a nature lover.
His love of “being out there” is exemplified in his passion for fishing, surfing and extreme sports.
All of which have now been put on hold by the pandemic.
“I’m a bit bored but it’s not too bad at the moment. I very rarely get to spend this much time at home, being forced to just relax and chill. But I think by the third week I’ll be going absolutely crazy, mental!” Steyn told The Citizen from his house in Kommetjie, next to the beaches of the Cape Peninsula.
“At least I can sit outside and look at the ocean all day and [former Titans coach] Rob Walter’s boet Brian is also a trainer and is staying with us, so he’s helping me stay fit. Plus he’s a good chef so I’m eating well!”
But asked whether he felt the enforced break might actually add another year or two to his career, the 36-year-old who has come through a couple of injury-plagued years was not so sure.
“It’s actually just making my life more difficult! I thought at the end of this year maybe I could just call it a day and go surfing, but now I kinda feel like I have to do another year because 2020 has been such a wipeout!,” Steyn said.
But South Africa’s leading Test wicket-taker, who was ranked the No 1 bowler in the world for a record 263 weeks between 2008 and 2014, still has his priorities straight and, in a more serious moment, said it was vital the world got on top of the coronavirus before focusing on things like cricket.
“I had to leave the Pakistan Super League early and I was going to be going to the Indian Premier Legaue (IPL) with RCB before heading into the Proteas’ lead-up to the T20 World Cup. But once the world gets a grip on this virus then we can worry about cricket. Everyone is in the same boat. Me not playing cricket does not mean I’m isolated or that I’ve been dropped, so there’s no reason for me to be too worried,” Steyn said.
A final call on the IPL T20 tournament is not likely until before 15 April, Steyn, who retired from Test cricket last August, has stated that 2020 for him was all about getting into the Proteas squad for the T20 World Cup, scheduled to start on 18 October in Australia.
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