IMAGE: Fast bowler Dale Steyn signed up as one of the marquee players for the three-week league, beginning August 30. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Injury-prone South African fast bowler Dale Steyn is set to play in the Euro T20 Slam league after being signed up as one of the marquee players along with New Zealand’s Martin Guptill for the tournament’s first edition, beginning August 30.
The 36-year-old Steyn, who was initially in South Africa’s World Cup squad but was later forced to pull out due to fitness issues, has joined a growing list of current and former international players for the T20 tournament.
“The line-up of Icon & Marquee Players is shaping up: @DaleSteyn62 is joining Imran Tahir, JP Duminy, Chris Lynn, Babar Azam and Luke Ronchi as Marquee player. England skipper Eoin Morgan, Shahid Afridi, Brendon McCullum, Shane Watson and Rashid Khan have been named as Icon players,” Cricket Netherlands said in a Twitter post.
“I am very excited about the Euro T20 Slam and being a marquee player… hope to get things going there. I am looking forward to it,” Steyn said in a video message posted by the league organisers.
The three-week Euro T20 Slam will have six franchises, two each based in Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland, and the three countries will be jointly hosting the tournament.
Shortly after the competition was announced, six cricketers were designated as icon/marquee players by the league — Shahid Afridi, Chris Lynn, Shane Watson, Babar Azam, Brendon McCullum and Luke Ronchi.
Several big names have signed up since then, including Eoin Morgan, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir and Rashid Khan. While some of these cricketers are active, Duminy and Tahir have announced that the 2019 World Cup will mark the end of their ODI careers.
Steyn, South Africa’s highest Test wicket-taker with 439 scalps from 93 matches, made an international comeback last season after a sustained injury-enforced absence from the game, but had to deal with a fresh injury when he was forced to pull out of the ongoing World Cup without playing a game.
Earlier this year, Steyn was picked as a replacement for Nathan Coulter-Nile at Royal Challengers Bangalore for IPL 2019, but had to withdraw after two matches with his shoulder injury flaring up.
The tournament organisers also announced the recruitment of Guptill as one of the icon players for the league.
Guptill, who is the first Kiwi cricketer to have scored a first double century in the ODI format, said he is lucky to be a part of the League.
“I am really excited to be a part of the inaugural Euro T20 Slam. All the content is creating a lot of hype and I am really lucky to be a part of the league this year,” Guptill, who has played 47 Tests and 176 ODIs, was quoted as saying.
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