South Africa's premier paceman Morne Morkel has announced his retirement from international cricket, revealing that the upcoming home series against Australia will be his last at the highest stage.
The lanky fast bowler made his Test debut against India at Durban in 2006, and has so far starred in 83 Tests, 117 ODIs and 44 T20s for South Africa. In the longest format, Morkel bagged 294 wickets at only 28.08 with 7 five-wicket hauls, with his career-best 6/23 coming against New Zealand at Wellington.
Along with Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, Morkel had formed one of the most potent fast bowling trios of the modern era, starting out under former captain Graeme Smith across all formats. Morkel also represented the Africa XI – in fact, his ODI debut in 2007 came for them – against the Asia XI.
WATCH: Morne Morkel annihilates England
Morkel showed great form in the recent home Tests against India, capturing 13 wickets at 20.00.
As early as the England tour in 2008, Morkel was the joint highest wicket-taker in the series, and soon established himself into the Test side after the departures of Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini. In Australia in 2012, the 33-year-old took the most wickets – 14 of them, including Mike Hussey thrice – thus helping South Africa preserve their number one ranking. Morkel holds the distinction of having dismissed former England captain Alastair Cook 11 times in Test cricket – more than any other bowler.
Like so many other modern-day bowlers, Morkel suffered a series of injuries throughout – a serious back injury on South Africa's tour to Australia in 2016 even threatened to end his career. And as most South African cricketers today, Morkel was repeatedly linked with county cricket, with speculations of him preferring a Kolpak deal in England often spreading fast.Published 26 Feb 2018, 16:31 IST