South African speedster Dale Steyn has suggested that he may have to miss some of the country’s international assignments in order to manage his workload with an eye on playing the 2019 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in England.
During an interview with Wisden India, Steyn said:
“At this stage of my career, I’d rather be saving myself to go and participate in the major tournaments, rather than wasting the few balls I have left in my career in a Bangladesh match.
“I’d rather go to Bangladesh to help and support future South African bowlers, and use what is left of the 10,000 or 20,000 deliveries that I have in my body for the big tournament. That’s where I’m at personally. But at the beginning of my career, I would have done everything. I would have gone every tournament and to every place. But I’ve done it all now.”
Steyn, who has taken 396 wickets in 78 Tests, has competed against all nine Test playing nations and he still maintains that Test cricket is the format he wants to “play a lot more,” in, especially because, at 31, he considers his days “numbered”.
In the same time period, he has played in two fifty-over World Cups and four T20 World Cups but been rested from many other series as South Africa sought to keep him fresh. As his career reaches its last one or two years, he said that the trend will continue as his major emphasis would be on playing big tournaments than bilateral series.
“It might sound very cocky or naïve of me, or self-centered, but I want to win a World Cup for my country. And they only come around once every four years. If you’re playing in the Twenty20 World Cup, luckily they come around every second year,” he said. “So with all due respect to places like Bangladesh or Zimbabwe, going and playing three ODIs in Bangladesh does nothing for my confidence as opposed to knowing that I’m going to a World Cup,” he added.
South Africa are scheduled to tour Bangladesh in July and if Cricket South Africa (CSA) decides to rest Steyn then Marchant de Lange and Kagiso Rabada might get a chance to prove their worth.