Steyn rules himself out of England tour

The wait to see Dale Steyn return to the Test arena will now stretch beyond South Africa's tour to England in July and August.

South Africa paceman Dale Steyn   -  Getty Images

Dale Steyn has ruled himself out of South Africa's tour to England as his recovery from shoulder surgery is taking longer than anticipated.

Steyn has been out of action since suffering a broken bone in the first Test against Australia in Perth last November and was not considered for ICC Champions Trophy selection.

The prolific paceman was expected to recover in time to participate in two four-day games for the South Africa A side in the United Kingdom and put himself in the frame for Test selection.

However, Steyn, who needs just five wickets to become the Proteas' all-time leading Test bowler, confirmed he will not take part and is instead hoping to make his comeback in the home series against Bangladesh in September and October.

"My recovery is going well, but it is taking a little longer than I expected it to," said Steyn at the Cricket South Africa annual awards.

"I am able to do a lot of things, like running, hiking and gym work, but bowling is not one of them, and I won't be ready in time.

"Obviously, one of the reasons for me playing with the A side was so that I could get some match fitness before the Tests. So, before that Bangladesh series, I will need to play a bit.

"We have to understand that fast bowling is not something normal people do, so it's going to take time.

"Normal people do things mostly below the shoulder line; it's unusual to have something above the line except for things like bowling and tennis. I just have to be patient."

Steyn light-heartedly suggested he could opt for a short stint in county cricket in order to get the game time needed for his planned comeback.

"In a way it could be quite funny – South Africa will be playing a Test series in England and maybe at some ground down the road, Dale Steyn will be playing for another team," he joked.

After three one-day internationals and a trio of T20s, the Proteas will play four Tests against England, with the first starting on July 6 at Lord's.

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