Proteas legend Shaun Pollock congratulated Dale Steyn for surpassing him as South Africa’s leading wicket-taker.
The spotlight was on Dale Steyn as he aimed to become the leading wicket-taker in South Africa’s history.
In order for him to do so, he needed to take one wicket to surpass Shaun Pollock after drawing level with the former Proteas seamer during the Test series in Sri Lanka.
The moment came on day one of the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan at Centurion and it came on the first ball of his fourth over when he removed Fakhar Zaman by angling the ball across the left-hander and finding his edge, which Dean Elgar took at second slip.
Pollock, who was sitting in the SuperSport commentary box at the time, showed a thumbs up to the bowler for breaking the record.
He also said a few words about the achievement.
‘A heartfelt congratulations to Dale. He’s been a fantastic bowler for SA for so long. His performances both home and away have been remarkable in so many ways. The fact that he is the best Test fast bowler that SA has produced doesn’t require my endorsement, as his stats and record tell you that.
‘He’s fully deserving of holding the record for most test wickets, and I hope that he goes on to take many more and continues winning games for the Proteas.
‘His injuries of late have been in stark contrast to how well he has managed his body and fitness throughout his career and he has been a wonderful athlete.
‘I have enjoyed so many attributes of Dale’s bowling through his international career.. the ability to swing the ball at high-speed upfront, reverse swing the ball with devastating effect, bowl with great control and within himself as well as being able to crank it up with high-speed hostile bowling on very flat surfaces at times have all been his hallmarks.
‘He has spearheaded the attack for many years, giving the team a lift when they needed it most.
‘More importantly, he’s a great guy and deserves all the best.
‘Fast bowling has always been a characteristic strength of SA cricket and records undoubtedly serve as motivation for our current and future stars.
‘I look forward to seeing the hugely talented KG( already 150), Lungi and others going on to surpass these records, because ultimately that’s what we want for Proteas cricket.
‘Well done Dale.’
CSA CEO Thabang Moroe added his congratulations as well, saying that ‘Dale is undoubtedly one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time and we are all very proud of his achievements, not just today, but throughout his career. He has been a star performer wherever he has played – and that includes his feat of becoming one of the handful of foreign fast bowlers to take 10 wickets in a Test match in India at Nagpur, in 2010.
‘He held the position of the No 1-ranked Test match bowler for the best part of a decade, which speaks volumes both to the longevity and the excellence of his career. He has also taken five wickets in an innings on no fewer than 26 occasions. Sir Richard Hadlee (36 times), Glenn McGrath (29) and Sir Ian Botham (27) are the only pace bowlers to have done better.
‘I am sure I speak not only for all his South African supporters and admirers, but for cricket fans around the world in applauding the manner in which he has fought his way back to his best form. Above all, Dale has been a role model for the way the game should be played, and has been the inspiration for our following generations of fast bowlers, represented by the likes of Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.
‘We congratulate him on this milestone and on a wonderful career to date and look forward to his writing the next chapter,’ concluded Moroe.