Fast bowler Dale Steyn emerged emotional and proud, after becoming South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket on Wednesday.
Steyn removed opener Fakhar Zaman on day one of the series opener against Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion to surpass the 421 wickets reached by former seamer Shaun Pollock.
‘I am very pleased and very happy. I almost let a tear out when I was standing at the top of my mark in front of this crowd. I’m very proud,’ said Steyn.
‘Every time I was around Pollock during the nine Tests we played together, it was a lesson. Pollock, Graeme Smith and the other guys helped me grow up as a human being and a cricketer.
‘Shaun popped a note under my door before I made my debut back in the day and I got another one from him for this record.’
The 35-year-old Steyn has the 11th-most wickets in the longest form of the international game.
Nine more and he will have as many as New Zealand’s Richard Hadlee.
Two more than that and he will level the 433 gathered by Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath and England seamer Stuart Broad. While Herath retired recently, Broad is still playing.
A dozen more wickets than Steyn’s current tally will equal Indian Kapil Dev’s 434, who boasts the seventh-most wickets in Test cricket.
A move into the top six is highly unlikely for Steyn. West Indian Courtney Walsh is in sixth position with 519, followed by Australian Glenn McGrath’s 563, England James Anderson’s 565 and Indian Anil Kumble’s 619.
Australian Shane Warne’s 708 is second only to Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan’s 800.