Former Proteas captain Hashim Amla has penned a heartfelt tribute to former teammate and retiring fast bowler Dale Steyn.
The 38-year-old Steyn officially announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Monday, finishing a career in which he became South Africa’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.
Subsequently, tributes poured in from all over the world, including from Proteas teammates AB de Villiers and Tabraiz Shamsi.
Amla, meanwhile, decided to write a creative poem as his way of saluting Steyn.
“The game is tense, no … it is high voltage electric,” the poem reads.
“I receive the ball from the cover fielder. I’m at mid off. I gather the little sweat that sprinkles my brow. The heat is saying hello but not kindly.
“I moisten the shiny side whilst walking towards the bowler who is already at the top of his mark. I look down, clench my eyelids and muscles to give the ball a final shine. I flick the ball to the bowler.
“Lean, athletic and lethal. Our eyes lock … the eyes of Dale Steyn. No ordinary eyes. ‘Keep going, Dalo’ I say casually. He does not hear nor see me.
“Thousands are chanting his name … he does not hear nor see them. I hear him though.
“Those eyes. The mirror to the soul.
“Speak: ‘I have come from humble beginnings. Lived and saw difficulties. No fancy school to swell my ego. But I will give everything I have to make a play for us and the country. I want this. Those tough times have strengthened my spirit. That simple school gave me my natural beautiful action and those humble beginnings remind me never to take it all for granted, work hard and enjoy it till the end.’
“The timber is rattled. The play is made. The game is won. This reel. On a loop. For a decade and more.
“The legend will always be … till the end.”