South African all-rounder Albie Morkel has announced his retirement from cricket with immediate effect. The 37-year-old made the decision public through social media, stating that he will 'enjoy the game from the other side'.
Known for his nagging medium-pace and his hard-hitting down the order, Morkel last represented South Africa in 2015, during a T20I against India. He played 58 ODIs, 50 T20Is and a solitary Test in an international career spread over a decade.
Part of a cricketing family, Albie followed his brother Morne Morkel into retirement - Morne had announced his departure from international cricket last year.
Known best for his exploits in the T20 format, Morkel's first-class debut was way back in 1999/2000 when the South African side was blessed with all-rounders in the likes of Lance Klusener and Shaun Pollock. While Morkel made it to the top-most level by 2005, his career could never take off the way it was expected.
He was a vital part of the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League from 2008 until 2013, post which he was seen in the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Delhi Daredevils and the Rising Pune Supergiant camps. His last IPL game was in 2016.
He was recently part of the Durban Heat, captaining the side in the inaugural edition of the Mzansi Super League late last year. His final List A game was for the Titans against the Warriors in the Momentum One Day Cup semi-finals. He did not play a first-class game after 2016.
His teammate Chris Morris was one of the first ones to congratulate him on his career, calling the retiring all-rounder a 'legend'.
Morkel ended his career with 77 wickets from 109 international games. In T20 cricket, where his stocks were most valued, the left-handed batsman took 247 wickets in 318 games, and had a strike-rate of 138 with the bat.