Morne Morkel to retire after Australia series


South Africa's Morne Morkel (R) bowls to New Zealand's James Neesham (L) during the 2nd International cricket test match between New Zealand and South Africa at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on March 16, 2017.

JOHANNESBURG - South African seamer Morn Morkel announced on Monday, his intentions to retire from all forms of international cricket after the four-match Sunfoil Test series against Australia, starting in Durban on Thursday.

The 33-year-old confirmed his decision at a media conference in Durban, soon after the Proteas landed in the coastal City.

Morkel has played 83 Tests, 117 One-Day Internationals and 44 T20 Internationals in a career spanning 12 years.

He has taken 294 Test wickets and is currently the fifth highest all-time wicket-taker for South Africa in Test matches. 

Morkel boasts a of 529 wickets across the three formats.

The lanky seamer said on his retirement, “I have a young family and a foreign wife so I believe this is best time to do this. Out of respect to Cricket South Africa it was important for us to make this announcement now.”

Explaining his decision on Cricket South Africa’s website, Morkel said, “It was an extremely tough decision but I feel the time is right to start a new chapter."

“I have loved every minute that I have played in the Proteas jersey, and I am incredibly grateful to my team mates, Cricket South Africa, and my family and friends for the support over the years. I still feel there is a lot of cricket left in me and I am excited for what lies ahead. For now, all of my energy and focus is on helping the Proteas win the upcoming series against Australia.”

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Cricket South Africa Acting CE, Thabang Moroe, praised Morkel’s commitment and contribution towards South African cricket, “On Behalf of Cricket South Africa, I would like to thank Morne for the tremendous and highly valued contribution he has made to South African cricket over the past decade.

File: South Africa bowler Morne Morkel unsuccessfully appeals for a wicket during the sixth One Day International cricket match between South Africa and India at Super Sport Park in Centurion on February 16, 2018. Credit: AFP

“He has been a regular selection for both the Standard Bank Proteas Test and ODI squads since 2008, having made his debut as far back as 2006. He has formed part of the golden era of fast bowlers that have made the South African Test team a champion outfit that is respected throughout the world.

“Being a champion fast bowler is one of the most difficult professions in the sporting world. It requires tremendous skill, dedication and perseverance and, by no means the least, the courage to bowl through the pain barrier at times. Those are characteristics Morne has shown throughout his career.

“Lastly, on behalf of the South African cricket family, our stakeholders and fans around the world, we thank Morne for being both a fine player and an outstanding role model who has made our country proud. We wish him everything of the best in his future endeavours.”