Chittagong, Bangladesh (BBN)-Dale Steyn’s strained relationship with Bangladesh cricket fans appears to have mended considerably, with the South African quick taking part in an impromptu game of street soccer during a washed-out day four of the first Test in Chittagong.
The Proteas seamer caused uproar earlier this year when, as speculation surrounded his availability for South Africa’s tour of Bangladesh, he was quoted as saying to Wisden India, “At this stage of my career, I’d rather be saving myself to go and participate in the major tournaments rather than wasting the few balls I have left in my career in a Bangladesh match, reports the Cricket.
“I’d rather go to Bangladesh to help and support future South African bowlers, and use what is left of the 10,000 or 20,000 deliveries that I have left in my body for the big tournament.”
But that didn’t stop Bangladesh cricket fans voicing their outrage at Steyn’s comments, with a wave of vitriol flooding Steyn’s Twitter account.
Despite the history, the 32-year-old, who is just one wicket away from 400 Test wickets, was quick to join in after spotting a game of soccer from his hotel window.
After canvasing support from his Twitter followers, Steyn made his long-awaited debut on the streets of Chittagong and didn’t disappoint with the much larger round ball; a classic through ball running on to beat everyone, including his teammates, on a rain-soaked pitch.
International cricketers joining fans for a game is nothing new, with Glenn Maxwell having a hit with Dubai locals during Australia’s tour of the UAE last year.