South Africa pace bowling legend Dale Steyn has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

The 38-year-old took 439 wickets across 93 Tests to become South Africa's all-time leading wicket-taker in the longest format, adding a further 260 dismissals across 172 limited-over international fixtures.

His returns in Test cricket ranks him eighth for all-time dismissals and his strike rate of 42.3 is the best of any player to take 250 wickets, though he did announce his retirement from red-ball internationals in 2019.

However, Steyn continued to operate as a white-ball specialist and, despite missing out on a central contract with South Africa, wanted to play in the T20 World Cup before the coronavirus-enforced delay.

He may have been considered an outsider for the rearranged T20 World Cup this year but he will not feature for South Africa again after taking to social media to announce his retirement.

"It’s been 20 years of training, matches, travel, people, wins, losses, strapped feet, jet lag, joy, and brotherhood," Steyn wrote on Tuesday as he prefixed his post with lyrics from the Counting Crows.

"There are too many memories to tell. Too many faces to thank. So I left it to the experts to sum up, my favourite band, the Counting Crows.

"Today I officially retire from the game I love the most. Bitter sweet but grateful.

"Thank you to everyone, from family to teammates, journalists to fans, it’s been an incredible journey together."

Steyn has not featured in franchise T20 cricket since March in the Pakistan Super League, though he remains one of the pioneers of the shortest format.

The South Africa bowler appeared in leagues across England, Pakistan, India, the West Indias, Sri Lanka and Australia, but pulled out of this year's Indian Premier League, insisting he was not retiring.

However, with Tuesday's announcement, an international in February 2020 and his final franchise appearance in March prove to be his last.

Former team-mate and fellow South Africa legend, AB de Villiers quickly responded to Steyn's post, adding: "Great player, great man, amazing memories! You picked a good song to sign off my bud. Legend forever!"

Kagiso Rabada put his impressive achievement of reaching 200 Test wickets down to hard work but insisted the "show goes on" after becoming the third fastest South African to reach the milestone.  

The Proteas paceman claimed 3-70 in Pakistan’s first innings during the series opener in Karachi, with the last of those wickets seeing him get to the notable personal landmark in his international career.  

Hasan Ali was bowled to see Rabada make it to 200 on day three of his 44th Test outing; only Dale Steyn (39) and Allan Donald (42) have managed it in fewer appearances for South Africa.  

He is also the third quickest ever when it comes to deliveries bowled – Waqar Younis and Steyn sit above him on that list – having recorded nine five-wicket hauls and taken 10 in a match on four occasions.  

For Rabada, there remains the appetite within to keep on improving, worrying words for opposing batsmen around the world when you consider he is still just 25. 

"It's just hard work and spending a lot of time on your craft, seeing where you can get better," Rabada told the media about his success in the Test arena. "Analysing it, but not over-thinking it.  

"It hasn't all been easy – you find yourself trying to perfect something that might seem so simple, but it's constant repetition, hours and hours of work, so being relentless with that and trying to see how much better you can get and finding ways."

Asked about being in the same company as compatriot Steyn and Pakistan great Waqar when it comes to balls bowled, Rabada replied: "It's a massive feat to be included in a list of such names.  

"When you start playing you don't ever think that you'd be on such a list and have such statistics. All you want to do is the best that you can. 

"I'm really glad, it's satisfying; it's a great milestone, but the show goes on."

Rabada missed the chance to bring up his 200th wicket on home soil as he did not feature in the recent series against Sri Lanka in South Africa, the Proteas understandably taking no risks with their premier strike bowler upon his return from a groin injury.

It meant his appearance against Pakistan was his first in the format since the third match of the series against England, back in January 2020. 

"Test cricket never gets old, never gets any easier as well – you are constantly challenged," Rabada explained upon his return to duty for his country

"Playing in Pakistan as well, it's quite an amazing place. The only place that I haven't played previously, so I'm glad to have the opportunity to play here.  

"It's been hard work, just like any Test match, especially in the subcontinent where you have to be more patient. It teaches you a lot of lessons and I've been reminded of some of them."

Dale Steyn has announced he will not be playing in the Indian Premier League this year, though the fast bowler insists he is not retiring just yet. 

Steyn was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad for the 2020 edition of the Twenty20 tournament, with the competition temporarily moved to the United Arab Emirates due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in India.

The 37-year-old played in three games, taking one wicket, but has made himself unavailable for the franchise in the 2021 campaign. 

However, revealing his decision on Twitter, South Africa's record wicket-taker in Test cricket confirmed he will still feature in other T20 leagues around the world in the coming months, as he has no immediate plans to hang up the bowling boots just yet.

"Just a short message to let everyone know that I've made myself unavailable for RCB at this year's IPL," Steyn wrote.

"I'm also not planning on playing for another team, just taking some time off during that period. Thank you to RCB for understanding. No I'm not retired."

He then posted a further tweet, adding: "I will be playing in other leagues, nicely spaced out to give myself a opportunity to do something's [sic] I've been excited about as well as continue to play the game I love so much. 

"NO, I'm NOT retired."

Steyn did retire from Test cricket in August 2019, finishing his career in the longest format with 439 wickets at an outstanding average of 22.95.

However, he has continued to play for the Proteas in the T20 format; his most recent international appearance came against Australia in February 2020.

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