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.ALSO READ: Boucher sees ‘unique’ De Kock as long-term Proteas skipperEven 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.”For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.
LOS ANGELES — If things had worked out differently, Ben Olson might be playing against Utah in the last game of this season rather than the first.However, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound highly touted quarterback will lead the UCLA Bruins against the Utes on Saturday at 5 p.m. MDT at the famed Rose Bowl in the season opener for both teams.Olson was a big deal four years ago, spending a year at BYU after being the top prep recruit in the nation the year before.Soon after the 2002 season ended, Olson left on an LDS mission to Canada. But instead of returning to BYU, where he could possibly be the starter now, Olson transferred to UCLA, where he’ll make his first college start against the Utes in front of a crowd of 70,000-plus.The affable Olson said he is happy with his decision to move to UCLA and claims he has no hard feelings toward BYU. He’s just excited to be making his college debut Saturday afternoon.”Things have been going really well,” he said. “I’ve been preparing myself to be the starter since last year. I’m looking forward to playing Utah.”When he came out of Thousand Oaks, Calif., as the top quarterback recruit in the country and enrolled at BYU, Olson could have gone anywhere he wanted. Everyone was after his services, and after narrowing his choices to Michigan, Tennessee, USC, UCLA and BYU, he decided on BYU.”I felt that was the place for me to go at the time,” Olson said. “They were 12-2, No. 1 in the nation in offense and I’d grown up watching BYU.”Olson came within an eyelash of playing in 2002 and losing a year of eligibility and, who knows, perhaps continuing his career in Provo if he’d finished the season at QB.The Cougars went up to Utah State in early October and fell behind 34-7 at halftime. BYU coaches decided at the half they would let starter Bret Engemann play one more series and then give their freshman a try if things didn’t improve.However, Engemann promptly led his team on a touchdown drive and stayed in the rest of the half as the Cougars rallied to a 35-34 victory. Olson stayed on the bench that night and for the rest of the year. But he harbors no hard feelings toward his former school.”I loved it,” Olson said of his time at BYU. “I have nothing but good things to say about BYU. It’s a great place, a great school.”So why did he leave Provo?Olson said the coaching change had something to do with his decision — Gary Crowton being replaced by Bronco Mendenhall — but that wasn’t the main factor.”I tried to re-evaluate when I came back from my mission,” Olson said. “I grew up watching UCLA and decided UCLA was the place for me.”While he points out that he played in two games last year, throwing four passes, Olson acknowledges, “it’s been awhile” since he played a full season.It was 2001 to be exact, when Olson threw for 2,989 yards and 32 touchdowns for Thousand Oaks High, where he was the CIF IV Offensive Player of the Year, a first-team USA Today all-American and the No. 1-rated prep player in the country.After his redshirt season at BYU, Olson left on his mission, which he calls “such a rewarding experience. I’ll never regret that decision for the rest of my life.”He said he never thought about football on his mission and it wasn’t until returning in November 2004 that he decided to transfer.Last year, as a freshman in Westwood, Olson was battling senior Drew Olson (no relation) for the starting job when a small fracture in his throwing hand sidelined him for the first month of the season. He only played in two games against Oregon State and Arizona, where he completed two of four passes for 11 yards.The big left-hander could surpass those numbers on his first series or at least by the end of the first quarter of Saturday’s game. Olson is eager to perform in the Bruins’ offense.”We’re going to have a pretty balanced attack,” he said. “We’re using the West Coast offense, which is multi-dimensional with a variety of looks.”As for Utah, Olson is expecting a tough game. “We know they’re a well-coached team and they like to bring a lot of pressure,” he said. “We’re not underestimating them in any sense. They’re a very solid team and we have a lot of respect for them.” E-mail: email@example.com