South African fast bowler Morne Morkel has announced that the upcoming series against Australia will be his last in international cricket. The 33-year-old fast bowler has played 83 Tests, 117 ODIs and 44 T20Is for the Proteas in an international career that began at the Boxing Day Test against India in 2006.
Morne Morkel reasoned his decision to retire as the one which was taken in mind the hectic international schedule and also his family which missed him increasingly over the years. "It was an extremely tough decision but I feel the time is right to start a new chapter. I have a young family and a foreign wife, and the current demanding international schedule has put a lot of strain on us. I have to put them first and this decision will only benefit us going forward" Morkel was quoted as saying.
"I have loved every minute that I have played in the Proteas jersey, and I am incredibly grateful to my teammates, 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." Morkel said recalling his playing days.
Morkel played each of the three Tests and five of the six ODIs in the just-concluded series against India, taking 13 wickets at 20.00 in the Tests. In the upcoming series against the Aussies, Morkel will get his very last opportunity to add to his international tally of 529 wickets as and when the series gets underway.
Morne Morkel plays international cricket for the very last time against Australia. On this emotional occasion, Du Plessis recalled Morne Morkel's importance in the team.
"Morne has been an absolute legend of South African cricket, he has been a great team man for the last 10 to 12 years," the South Africa captain told a news conference.He has really served the team well and he will be missed. We understand his reasons for going, he's got his family to support and look after."
"He's a difficult guy to replace, as I've mentioned before the experienced seamers are very important."
"The good thing, though, is that we've got Lungi Ngidi coming through to take his place when the time is there and obviously we've got Dale Steyn hopefully come back as well."
He takes the field along with his teammates in the first Test in Durban against Australia starting today. Over the years Morkel formed a formidable partnership with Dale Steyn and was a part of many memorable victories for South Africa.