Image courtesy of: Zimbio
“It’s nice to get recognition”
South Africa all-rounder Albie Morkel is over the moon after being given the chance to revive his international career by being included in the national team for the World Twenty20, which will take place in Bangladesh next month.
Morkel recalled how convener of selectors Andrew Hudson told him that it was “more than likely” that he would be included in South Africa’s World Twenty20 squad, but he didn’t believe it initially.
“I am very very excited,” Morkel told ESPNcricinfo. “And very surprised. When Andrew Hudson first spoke to me he said it very likely that I would probably be back but the actual confirmation came today when they had the press conference. I am very excited.”
Just ten months ago, Morkel thought his international career was over when Cricket South Africa decided not to renew his central contract.
“I think some people mistook to say I would retire from international cricket and that really wasn’t the case,” he said. “The message I got from CSA was that they were moving on. It was something I had made peace with.”
Morkel has been in red-hot form as of late and is now looking forward to playing in his fifth World Twenty20.
“I didn’t go out to prove anything,” he said. “I just hit form at the right time and I am enjoying my cricket.
“It’s nice to get recognition. It’s nice to know people can go back on their word sometimes.
“This will be my fifth T20 World Cup so I have been through this episode before where they are high expectations and we get knocked out and we get called all sorts of names. Some of the guys in the team also know what it feels like.
“It’s a mental thing we have to get ready for because leading up to the tournament there will be stuff like that floating around again. I’ve also toured Bangladesh before, on a one-day tour and it’s a tough place. It’s low and slow and there will be lots of dew there.
“I will give it my best shot and play with a clear mind. I will take all the experience from other World Cups. I am not going to make too many statements before the tournament because that can get you into trouble but we seem to have a good mix. You need a bit of a luck. You need half your team to be in form.”
However, while South Africa may have never won the World Twenty20, Morkel does know a thing or two about winning a major tournament as he was a member of the Chennai Super Kings squad that won the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2010 and 2011.
“Chennai is just a really good side with guys who knew exactly what role they must perform in the team,” he said. “And the owners created a good environment so there was no pressure. Guys could play with freedom. I haven’t played under Russell before but hopefully it will be similar. It will be an interesting challenge for everyone.”