Morne Morkel, the former South African fast bowler who recently retired from international cricket, is in England right now to play for Surrey in the county championship where he has signed to play for two years as a Kolpak player.
Morkel who has outstanding numbers for his country said goodbye to the game at the end of South Africa's Test series against Australia at home, which they won by 3-1. Morkel at the time stated the need for him to spend more time with his family, that made this extremely tough decision slightly easy to take.
Morne was recently quoted saying to BBC Radio London that, "I could have still played international cricket for another three or four years if I wanted to, For me, first-class cricket in England is of the highest quality. You have very strong local players, international guys, and overseas players and it is very competitive. For me, it is important to play a high standard of cricket. I still feel mentally and physically fit to play white-ball and red-ball cricket."
Having taken 309 Test wickets, which made him the rainbow nation's fifth highest wicket-taker, had hailed his announcement as a "family decision".
He talked about it further by saying, "I have a young family and my wife is Australian and we needed a neutral base to set up some roots, When you play in London you can get away from the game and sometimes I need to clear my mind. You can go and see a show - I've seen the Phantom of the Opera three times - and there are fantastic restaurants and beautiful parks. It is easy to travel from London as it is central, and to go anywhere in the world is very easy. At this stage in my life, it fits in beautifully."
Morkel is also impressed with the young talent around the county game and in Surrey's set up especially. He said, "Sam Curran is a typical 19-year-old who plays with no fear and doesn't over-think the game, Will Jacks is a fantastic player and remind me a bit of a mix between Jason Roy and Kevin Pietersen - a very aggressive sort of batsman.I predict a great future for him and Ollie Pope has impressed me a hell of a lot. The way the guys have been training over the past couple of weeks, it is a trophy-winning side. It is just a matter of guys staying fit, us going to the back end of the competition and still being mentally fresh to go on and win a trophy."