Dale Steyn has become South Africa’s all-time leading wicket taker in Test cricket after Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman became his 422nd victim on the opening morning of the Boxing Day Test in Centurion.
Zaman sent an outside edge into the gloves of Dean Elgar as Steyn moved clear of Shaun Pollock, whose record had stood for a decade following his retirement in 2008.
Steyn, 35, has endured a long wait to secure a record which appeared his for the taking three years ago, with a succession of injuries slowing his progress considerably.
Pollock was among the first to congratulate his former team-mate.
“A heartfelt congratulations to Dale,” Pollock wrote on social media. “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 he goes on to take many more and continues winning games for the Proteas.”
Steyn looked to be within touching distance of Pollock’s mark as far back as 2015, when he took his 400th wicket in a match against Bangladesh.
But he has played just nine Tests since after being sidelined by numerous ailments. He ultimately reached 422 in his 89th Test, with Pollock having needed 108 to reach 421.
Steyn now sits just outside the top 10 all-time wicket takers in Test cricket, behind Richard Hadlee on 431.
Pollock was also there gift Steyn a classy present with another heartfelt message during the interval. Watch below:
“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 chequered career,” Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe said in a lengthy statement which recalled a number of his career highlights.
Moroe added: “He has also managed to overcome a series of serious injuries that would have ended the career of lesser men and 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.”