Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa pace bowler Morne Morkel has announced that he will retire from international cricket after the upcoming four-Test series against Australia, which begins on March 1 in Durban.
Morkel is the Proteas’ fifth-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 294 wickets in 83 matches at an average of 28.08.
The 33-year-old has also featured in 117 ODIs and 44 Twenty20 Internationals, where he has taken 188 wickets and 47 wickets at an average of 25.32 and 25.34 respectively.
“It was an extremely tough decision but I feel the time is right to start a new chapter,” Morkel was quoted as saying by Sport24. “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.”
Cricket South Africa’s acting CEO, Thabang Moroe, added: “On behalf of Cricket South Africa, I would like to thank Morne for the tremendous and highly valued contribution he has made to South African cricket over the past decade.
“He has been a regular selection for both the Standard Bank Proteas Test and ODI squads since 2008, having made his debut as far back as 2006. He has formed part of the golden era of fast bowlers that have made the South African Test team a champion outfit that is respected throughout the world.
“Being a champion fast bowler is one of the most difficult professions in the sporting world. It requires tremendous skill, dedication and perseverance and, by no means the least, the courage to bowl through the pain barrier at times. Those are characteristics Morne has shown throughout his career.
“Lastly, on behalf of the South African cricket family, our stakeholders and fans around the world, we thank Morne for being both a fine player and an outstanding role model who has made our country proud. We wish him everything of the best in his future endeavours.”