I was told that I would never be able to play cricket again, says Morne Morkel
The 32-year old bowler has ruled himself out of the 2017 IPL in order to ease his comeback into the national side.
What’s the story?
Lanky South African pacer Morne Morkel has made a startling revelation that he was told he won’t be able to play cricket ever again after sustaining a debilitating back injury last year. Now on the road to recovery, Morkel has ruled himself out of the upcoming IPL season to ease his comeback into the national side.
“I was told that I would never be able to play cricket again and it was a mental thing to go to the gym”, Morkel was quoted as saying to Times Live while training for the Titans, his domestic franchise.
In case you didn’t know
The Transvaal-born bowler played in the Caribbean Premier League last year, but had to be withdrawn from South Africa’s Test series against New Zealand after having been diagnosed with a bulging disc in his back.
He travelled with the team for their tour to Australia towards the end of 2016, and featured in three warm-up games, but didn’t get into the starting XI of any of the main fixtures. His last first-class game was for the Titans against the Warriors in October last year.
The heart of the matter
Having played for multiple teams in the IPL before, Morkel hasn’t given his name in the 2017 IPL auctions. His former team, the Kolkata Knight Riders, coached by his erstwhile teammate Jacques Kallis, released him from their squad after the end of last season.
The injury was a big setback to his future plans, including a potentially lucrative IPL contract in the role of a spearhead for one of the other teams.
He conceded that no one was fully sure about the exact condition of his back, which made him doubt his future. He went on to successfully complete his rehabilitation, and is raring to go on the biggest stage.
Having ruled himself out from the domestic Indian T20 league, Morkel has ample time on his hands to find his way back in the South African side for their tour of England this year. He aims to make a return to the national side when Australia travels to South Africa for last year’s return leg.
At 32, it is extremely difficult for a fast bowler to claw his way back after an injury. For Morkel, it would have been all the more arduous, for he’s a bowler who can’t compromise on his express pace and turn crafty: his USP is hitting the deck hard and extracting bounce.
It is a smart move by the pacer to skip the IPL, one which will reduce his immediate workload and help him elongate his international career.