South African fast bowler Morne Morkel has said goodbye to international cricket. While delivering for his team in the fourth Test and final test at Johannesburg on Tuesday against the Australians, Morkel retired from cricket with pride. This match was a memorable match for Morkel. Winning the Test, South Africa not only won the series by 3-1 in the series, but it was South Africa’s biggest ever victory (492 runs) in terms of runs.
309 Test wickets
188 ODI wickets
47 T20I wickets
Congratulations to @mornemorkel65 on a brilliant international career! 🙌
What is your favourite Morkel memory? pic.twitter.com/XiUG5ssfCK
— ICC (@ICC) April 3, 2018
Here’s What Morkel Said:
“There was no way I was going to sit in the changing room for two days, it would have taken a straitjacket,” Morkel said after the 492-run win.
“The mission was to beat the Aussies on home turf and to complete that is a special feeling. I was happy to bowl a few more overs and enjoy the atmosphere one last time.
“It’s tough to put into words – it’s very emotional and it’s been a great journey. The main thing is to keep on working hard. I am so grateful for all the opportunities I was given and to go out on a high.
“I am saying goodbye to a special bunch of guys, boys, brothers – I can only be the man I am team today playing in a fantastic culture and environment.
“I am going to miss playing in front of a home ground but I am excited for the new guy. He is in for a special time.”
“I would just like to say thank you so much. The last month, the last couple of weeks, have been exceptional,” he said. “I’ve to say thanks to my family, it’s been 12 years of a lot of support and tears and those sorts of things. To my team-mates as well, I could be the man I am today by playing the best of cultures, and it’s a fantastic environment. They have made it very, very special.”
The tributes poured in from @mornemorkel65's team-mates after his fantastic international career came to an end today 👏 #SAvAUS pic.twitter.com/18BrL3QDHe
— ICC (@ICC) April 3, 2018
Morkel’s performance as a bowler in the match was also good. In the first innings, he took two wickets in another innings. This series win of South Africa was also notable in the sense that after losing the first Test, team won the next three Tests.
Earlier, during the third Test played against Cape Town in Cape Town, Morkel had completed his 300-wicket record in Test cricket. However, due to the ‘black shadow’ of the ball-tampering controversy, his performance did not get the praise that he deserved. Morkel was counted among South African legendary bowlers. Due to his long stature, he was able to give a lot of bounce and used to trouble the batsmen.
Morkel made his Test debut against India in the year 2006. During his 12 years of international career, he played 86 Tests, 117 ODIs and 44 T20 matches for South Africa. 309 wickets in Test cricket, 188 in ODIs and 47 wickets in T20 cricket are his name.
“It’s very sad,” said Hashim Amla. “Everybody wanted something special to happen, and the team wanted something special for Morne. What he brings to the dressing room … I’m going to miss this guy. Really.”