Player Profile: Dale Steyn

Sometimes I randomly get the urge to write about a player I am a fan of, and getting the assignment to write a piece on Steyn felt like the perfect time to kick off what I hope will be a series of articles on random players I want to write about for one reason or another, I hope you enjoy it, and please let me know what you think.

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I remember the day my Dad came home with test tickets in his hand, it would be the first day of Test cricket I would watch live, it was day 3 of a match against India, and it was played at Newlands cricket ground. It was this day that I first heard the name Dale Steyn.

Now when I went to the match, I was still at the stage where I was more interested in getting players autographs than I was in the cricket itself, and about halfway through the day Dale Steyn came to field nearby our seats, and so I along with many other kids ran to where he was hoping to get there first so that we could get his autograph before the end of the over, luckily I was one of the few that got one, and at the time I had no idea whose autograph I had got because of course in test matches players don’t have their names on the back of their shirts, so off I went back to my seat and showed my Dad the autograph I got. Still very early in his career, Steyn was barely known by even my father at that stage, and so the day went on as I collected more autographs from other SA players, until eventually the clock struck 17:30 and it was time to leave.

I often think about this day when people talk about how great Dale Steyn is because when I got that autograph he wasn’t all that famous, and he wasn’t very impressive either (I know this because I can remember watching the Indians bat all day long with barely any success for our bowlers)but there I was, getting an autograph from someone who still probably wasn’t even used to having so many people wanting his autograph, and now I am here, in complete awe of his achievements, achievements like being the best Test bowler in world cricket right now, like taking 100 wickets faster than any other South African ever, also having the best bowling strike-rate of all time, the records seem never-ending.

It’s amazing that a few years ago he was just another autograph on my bat, now he is in my mind at least, the best bowler South Africa has ever had, and well with credentials like the ICC test cricketer of the year, and one of Wisden’s cricketers of the year to your name, it would be hard for anyone to argue against that.

Have anyone in particular you would like me to write about? Let me know in the comment box.

Matthew Nepgen

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