London: South Africa pacer Dale Steyn signed a deal with the Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Stars on Tuesday for the upcoming sixth edition.
Steyn had been on the Stars wishlist and he joins fellow South Africans AB de Villiers and Chris Morris in the BBL after de Villiers signed with the Brisbane Heat and Morris with the Sydney Thunder. Steyn joins Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane as the Stars’ second overseas signing.
“It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a while, play Big Bash.
Unfortunately representing the Proteas for the bulk of my career over Christmas time we’ve always got Test matches on, the Boxing Day and New Year’s Test matches. So I haven’t been available. But since retiring from Test cricket, it’s opened up a little window for me while the Proteas play red-ball cricket,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Steyn as saying.
Steyn hasn’t played since he injured his shoulder in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April and he was ruled out of the ICC World Cup shortly after it began. He is currently preparing to play for Cape Town Blitz in the Mzansi Super League, which begins in November.
The 36-year-old announced his retirement from the longest format of the game on August 5 this year to focus on limited-overs cricket. Steyn had played 125 ODIs for Proteas in which he scalped 196 wickets with the best figure of 6/39. He also featured in 44 T20Is and bagged 61 wickets with an economy of 6.79.
“The biggest relief off my shoulders was when I retired from Test cricket and I knew I didn’t have to bowl 40 overs in a Test anymore. It was amazing. All the training that I’m currently doing right now, it’s to bowl only 24 balls. When I put that into comparison to what I’ve done over the last 15 years of my career it really is pretty easy,” Steyn said.
Melbourne Stars will start their BBL campaign against Brisbane Heat at Queensland on December 20.