Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel has announced he will retire from all forms of international cricket at the conclusion of the four-match Test series against Australia starting on Thursday in Durban.
The 33-year-old has played 83 Tests, 117 One-Day Internationals and 44 T20 Internationals in a successful career spanning 12 years. He has taken 294 Test wickets – including seven five-fors – and is currently the fifth highest all-time wicket-taker for South Africa in Test matches. He has an impressive tally of 529 wickets across the three formats.
Morkel’s final swan-song in a South African shirt will be the four-match Test series against the Australians, where he will be looking to go past the 300-wicket mark in his career.
Explaining his decision, Morne Morkel said: “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 team mates, 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.”
Morne Morkel and his Australian wife‚ Roz Kelly Morkel‚ have a young son.
Theories that Morne Morkel was thinking of calling it quits have swirled for months‚ with the prevailing version that he would try to make it to the 2019 World Cup.
In September the fast bowler said he would seek clarity from then new South Africa coach Ottis Gibson on the issue: “I will ask him what his plans are for 2019; I only have a one-year contract so I need to weigh that up as well.”
Morne Morkel was South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in the test series in England last year and he claimed 13 against India this summer.
— Myron Naicker (@myronnaicker) February 26, 2018