Johannesburg: South African pacer Dale Steyn, who is the top-ranked Test bowler in the world, is excited about pairing with Allan Donald, who will now coach the Proteas bowlers.
At the same time, Steyn paid tribute to Vincent Barnes, Donald`s long-time predecessor in the role who is presently contemplating fresh options in the game.
"It`s disappointing, of course, seeing Vinnie go but over the years we`ve been with the (national) side we`ve almost become more pertinently `friends` than just a player-and-coach sort of situation," Steyn said.
"He`s almost been like a father figure and a good mate. I can phone him for anything from, you know, computer troubles to cell-phone troubles to bowling troubles," he said.
"Wherever I am in the world, I know I can still get hold of Vinnie at the drop of a hat and he`ll help me. That relationship won`t change ... not having him always around is something I`m fairly used to, with playing IPL and so on," Steyn said.
"It`ll be hard to get over not seeing him in South African clothes but when you`ve got somebody like AD stepping into the shoes it`s also exciting," he added.
Asked whether they had ever worked together previously, Steyn said: "No, never. I seem to recall he did a short clinic in Pretoria once, but it was literally an hour and I don`t remember much of it at all. But it will be nice to see some fresh (ideas) available to us.
"I used to imitate Allan; pretend to be him in the back garden - all those things youngsters do. When I got a little bit older and actually met him, it was a massive thing for me," he said.
It makes you realise how good he was when you speak to someone like Binga ( Brett Lee) who I idolised ... he in turn idolises AD; he`s one of his favourite players," Steyn added.