Dale Steyn. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Dale Steyn. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Here is hoping the Titans’ team sheet for their first-class match against the Dolphins in Centurion next week was filled out in pencil. Dale Steyn’s name was among them when the team was picked. Now it is not.

"I’ve decided not to play‚" Steyn said on Thursday.

"Right now I’m bowling fine but I haven’t hit the full workload I’d need to handle four-day cricket or a Test‚ so I decided it was best not to play."

Steyn has been sidelined since fracturing his shoulder while bowling for SA against Australia in a Test in Perth in November 2016.

After months of recovery and rehabilitation he had hoped to play in Tuesday’s match to stake a claim for the Test series against Bangladesh that starts in Potchefstroom on September28. Instead‚ he will seek out less taxing opportunities to ease himself back into the international frame.

"Playing the four-day game would have given me a chance for selection in the Tests‚" Steyn said. "But I don’t want to put myself or the team in a position where I pull up again. Some shorter cricket might be the better answer for a reintroduction.

"As there’s nothing like that domestically right now I might just play some club stuff in Pretoria or Cape Town.

"It doesn’t really matter to me at what level it is — I just need some cricket and I thought going from nothing to possibly bowling 30-plus overs was a bit of a risk," Steyn said.

That is all very well for Steyn and SA’s team‚ but you might stroll out to the middle to have a bat in what you think is a friendly preseason club game in Pretoria or Cape Town one of these spring weekends and see a startlingly familiar figure…

Could it be him?

TimesLIVE

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