South Africa fast bowler, Morne Morkel, has announced that he will retire from all formats of international cricket, once he is done with the four-match Sunfoil Test series against Australia, starting in Durban on Thursday.
The 33-year-old South Africa pacer’s decision to retire from all formats of international cricket came as a shock to many in the cricket community, for Morne Morkel had spent a stellar 2017 career-wise for the Proteas, in which he had scalped 39 Test wickets, (Morne Morkel’s highest records 2010).
Morne Morkel spoke to the media on Monday (25 Feb.) and said that his decision to retire from all formats of international cricket had come after talking to his family, and weighing his alternatives carefully. As reported by Fox Sports, Morne Morkel said,
“Family comes first. After discussing it with my family we decided it was time to start another chapter.”
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 26, 2018
In a career spanning over 12 years, Morne Morkel has played 83 Tests, 117 ODIs, and 44 T20 Internationals. And enjoying great success over the years, the 33-year-old has taken 294 Test wickets (including seven 5-wicket hauls), and is currently the fifth highest wicket-taker of all-time in Test cricket for South Africa. Morkel also has an impressive tally of 529 wickets across the three formats of international cricket.
Extremely tough decision to retire from cricket
Explaining his decision to retire from all formats of international cricket, Morne Morkel said, as reported by Cricket South Africa,
“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 us. I have to put them first and this decision will only benefit us going forward.”
“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.”
Cricket South Africa pay tribute to Morne Morkel
The acting Chief Executive (CE) of Cricket South Africa, Thabang Moroe, praised Morne Morkel’s indomitable commitment and tireless contribution towards South African cricket, and said,
“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.”
“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 fast bowler, one of the most difficult professions in sporting 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,” said the CE of Cricket South Africa.
“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,” Thabang Monroe signed off.