Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
11 Feb 2020
2:27 pm

‘Sponsors don’t want you, you’re not on TV’ – Dale Steyn talks life after cricket

Heinz Schenk

The Proteas legend though is still fully focused on his international career as he pushes for selection at this year's World T20.

Dale Steyn of South Africa during the South Africa national cricket team training session and press conference at Buffalo Park on February 11, 2020 in East London, South Africa. (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)

Given his continued enthusiasm for still competing at the highest level, it’s understandable that some local cricket fans feel Dale Steyn will be around forever.

He might not be playing Test cricket anymore – a format where he’s South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in history – but he’s still very much in the frame for the white-ball formats, evidenced by his presence for the Proteas’ T20 series against England, which starts in East London on Wednesday.

Yet, at 36, Steyn also needs to start looking ahead a tad more seriously, for a time “getting batters out and outfoxing them” isn’t something that excited him anymore.

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Even though retirement isn’t on the short-term agenda, the legendary quick isn’t averse to sharing some of his plans.

“There are some good things ahead in the future,” Steyn said on Tuesday.

“I’m involved in a company, a business a good friend of mine has just recently started. He specialises in retired athletes. We’ve sat down and had some great conversations, especially about retired footballers and what they’re doing. It’s exciting, some of the things being lined up and it has nothing to do with commentary or coaching, which is quite nice. We’ll wait and see.”

Over the recent few months, Steyn starred in the local Mzansi Super League and Australia’s Big Bash, but his relative low profile since the heartache of missing out on last year’s World Cup means commercial opportunities as a player are very slowly becoming less abundant.

“It’s something you have to keep in mind. I have an agent who looks after me and manages me as a player, but he doesn’t quite know what to do once his client retires,” the veteran said with a chuckle.

“Who wants a player that’s retired? Sponsors might not want to have you because you’re not on TV. Managing that space is very important, so we’ve moved on a bit and have sought advice from people, who, you know, do just that.”

Steyn’s ability to be a mentor for younger players has never been in doubt, but dabbling in coaching seems unlikely for now.

“I think if I ever wanted to do something in the coaching world, I’d have to up-skill myself significantly,” he said.

“It’s very easy to say let’s take a player out of the system and just push him into a coaching role. It’s a whole other thing. I’d have to spend time with people who can teach me to coach.”

For now, those things don’t matter.

“I love playing against England, I haven’t played against them for a long time. If you’re not excited about playing against one of the best teams in the world, I don’t know what does.”

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