Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa pace bowler Morne Morkel has revealed that he could consider only playing one format as his international career is coming to a close.
Morkel is more than likely to lean towards playing Test matches as he is an integral part of the Proteas’ pace attack.
Unlike some of his team-mates, Morkel doesn’t seem intent on prolonging his international career up until the 2019 World Cup, but when asked how long he intends to keep playing international cricket, the 32-year-old did not give an exact time frame, but admitted that it may not be for much longer.
“I don’t know. After this tour we’ll see. I’ll speak with Cricket South Africa and see where they see me featuring,” he said. “I love playing for this team. But it’s not rocket science that they probably want to start looking, in white-ball cricket, at the 2019 World Cup. Am I going to part of those plans? If I can be around to help the younger guys find their feet, so be it. I’ll do that. For me the main focus is this tour and then we’ll go back and see how we go.”
Since June last year, Morkel has only featured in six ODIs, including the matches he played in the Champions Trophy earlier this year.
But, given that Cricket South Africa seem eager to pick younger talents or veterans like Morkel, the Vereeniging native acknowledged that he is unlikely to be a regular face in the ODI squad.
“My conditioning’s been good over the years and I really look after my body,” he said. “Mentally and physically I feel strong. But the World Cup is two or three years down the line and those are decisions they need to make.”
If Morkel opts to go down the road of only playing Test cricket, he will have a lot of free time on his hands. With that in mind, the 32-year-old conceded that he may start featuring in a lot more domestic Twenty20 competitions.
“If there’s a T20 league I can go and play in and improve my skills and put my name into the hat for other tournaments, then I need to make that opportunity count,” he said. “But the Proteas and this environment come first. So I need to focus on that.”
For the time being though, Morkel is more than happy to contribute to South African cricket in any way that he can.
“In 2003, I was playing league cricket for a club called Endon, a first division club, and we got a day off and I came to Trent Bridge,” he said. “I sat in the stands here watching the boys play. To play a Test match here, that’s what dreams are made of,
“For me, every time I get the ball, it’s about really enjoying the moment. In the past I put myself under a lot of pressure, but I think those sort of days are gone. I know how quickly a career can change. And I’m not starting my career. My career’s nearly finished. So I am just enjoying the moment.”