On Tuesday, South African fast bowler Morne Morkel bowled his final delivery for his country before leaving the field as a South African player for one last time in his international career. He had announced about his retirement before the Australia-South Africa Test series in a press conference.
Revealing the reason for his decision to get retired, Morne stated that he has more important family commitments to look out for. For Proteas, he has played 86 Test, 117 ODIs and 44 T20Is for South Africa as he made his Test debut in 2006-07 against India in Durban.
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Ever since his debut, Morkel has been in and out of the Test squad firstly due to the presence of Makhaya Ntini and later played under the shadow of Dale Steyn. However, sometimes, even injuries kept him away from the field. It was in 2012 when he was given to bowl the first over in Test against England because of his good record against left-handers. In the first Test, he dismissed English opener Andrew Strauss in the very first over itself.
In the recently concluded series against Australia. Morkel became the fifth South African bowler to enter the 300-wicket club along with Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Allan Donald and current teammate Steyn. In the same Test match where he achieved this feat, he ended up taking nine wickets and was adjudged as the Man of the Match. Sadly the Test would be remembered for the infamous ball-tampering fiasco instigated by Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft. He ends his Test career as South Africa’s fifth highest wicket-taker.
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There is another stat about Morkel in international that very few are aware of his that, he is one of the tallest (6’5”) international cricketers, with the tallest being Mohammed Irfan (7’1″). His retirement from International cricket means he has already played his last ODI came against India last month. He did not have a very successful ODI series against India but overall he has been one of the finest limited overs bowlers for the Proteas. In fact, his ODI numbers are better than that of Dale Steyn. Morkel has picked 188 wickets from 117 matches at an average of 25.32.