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T20 World Cup

Dale Steyn set for international return with T20WC 2020 in sight

South Africa news

Dale Steyn is set to return to international cricket, confirming he’s part of South Africa’s limited-overs plans for their upcoming series against England.

Currently representing Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, Steyn told "I know I'll be part of (the T20 series against England), that was the last conversation I've had. I get a nice two-week break, then straight into it again.

"I'll be around for the ODIs – to be honest, I don't know how much I'll play (the ODIs) … I'll be there for that and then definitely the T20s.”

Steyn has had constant run-ins with injuries over the last few years, especially after a career-threatening shoulder injury during South Africa’s tour of Australia in November 2016. Since then, he has featured in just eight Tests, nine ODIs and two T20Is.

A long-awaited comeback in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 ended in a whimper when a recurrence of the same shoulder injury ruled him out of the tournament without featuring in a game. But now, seven months later, Steyn, 36, is gathering match practice with one eye on the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020, scheduled to begin in October.

"That (T20 World Cup) is very much on my agenda,” Steyn, who retired from Test cricket last year, said. "I'm starting to enjoy my cricket a lot more now, I think four overs is a lot easier on the body than the Test matches are.

Steyn is currently at 696 international wickets from a combined 262 games, the third-most by an active international bowler, behind only James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Steyn has featured in five T20 World Cup editions and feels the experience earned over 15 years of international cricket will provide the ideal helping hand to the next generation of South African quicks.

"I think it's important to have that (experienced) figure around in the dressing room. KG (Kagiso Rabada) is very young – to lead the attack at 24, and the next bowlers to come in are all younger than him, I think he needs somebody that's there that is experienced, to look around and he knows he's not there only one there."

"So I'm putting my hand up for that and then I'll wait and see how selections goes. After the MSL (Mzansi Super League) that we played, there were a lot of players that come out – some fantastic bowlers.

"But the old guys still seem to do the trick – AB (de Villiers) was there, Imran Tahir was taking wickets, I was up in the wickets. Maybe we will get the nod, maybe we don't - but I'm putting my hand up."

The limited-overs leg of England's tour of South Africa will follow the ongoing four-match Test series, with three ODIs and as many T20Is slated to be held between 4 February and 16 February.

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