Morne Morkel who recently retired from international cricket has signed a two-year Kolpak deal with the English County side Surrey, confirmed the Club on Tuesday (10 April).
Following the recently concluded Test series against Australia at home, Morkel called time on his international career spanning over 11 years, with 309 Tests, 188 One Day Internationals and 47 T20 International wickets for the South African side.
The 33-year-old, who will not be counted as an overseas player, will now be available to play for Surrey in all forms of the game as a Kolpak player until the end of the 2019 English season.
However, the pacer will not be able to offer his services in Surrey’s County Championship opener against Hampshire with a left side strain that he sustained in the final Australia Test. Once he attains full fitness, the Proteas will straightaway join the Surrey squad.
As per reports in the official website of Surrey Club, Director of cricket Alec Stewart said of Morkel’s signing, “He is a player that will add enormous strength and experience to our squad. His appetite to continue playing and most importantly performing was very evident from our very first conversation.”
Alec added, “He sets exceedingly high standards for himself, and for our young bowlers to have the opportunity to train and play alongside Morne can only help to develop their own games.”
The lanky pacer is the fifth South African bowler in the list of all-time Test wicket-takers only behind Shaun Pollock (421), Dale Steyn (419), Makhaya Ntini (390) and Allan Donald (330).
Meanwhile, Morkel said, “It is a real honor that Surrey has asked me to join their club after my retirement from international cricket. I've got fond memories of playing at The Oval and am looking forward to settling into London with my family for the summer, making new friendships with team-mates and hopefully great memories on and off the field.”
The 2018 English County Championship season will start from Friday (13 April), with Surrey will begin their First Division campaign at home against the border rivals Hampshire at The Oval on April 20.