Sandton: With a historic series win over Australia here, South Africa bid adieu to their fast-bowler Morne Morkel, who brought an end to his 11-year-long international career.
The lanky pacer, affectionately known as ‘Haydos’ because of how highly he rates his own batting, finished his last Test on a high.
Morkel finished with a career-best 9 for 110 in the third Test at Newlands, while claimed two wickets in the concluding Test as the Proteas beat Australia to win a series in home for the first time since 1970.
“A lot of guys say they don’t miss the game, but I’m definitely going to miss it. There was not one day did I not enjoy coming to nets. I enjoyed everything,” an emotional Morkel said in a press conference.
After debuting in 2006, the 33-year-old was a part of Graeme Smith’s plan to constitute a team of pacers. Since then, he has witnessed historic events. He was part of teams that beat England in England and Australia in Australia for the first times since readmission.
“You have all heard the stories of [Jacques] Kallis and those guys crying in the bus when that happened. To create a team culture and identity with Biff (Graeme Smith) and Gary [Kirsten] was special. Since then, walking on the field for South Africa every time was unbelievable,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Morkel as saying.
Talking about all the good times, the South African also shared the low moments of the 2015 World Cup.
“I remember it like yesterday. I had that ease in my heart that [Dale] Steyn would do it and then the way Grant [Elliott] took the game away … The body is still good for one more World Cup but unfortunately I won’t be on that bus.”
In his career, Morkel had played 86 Tests, 117 ODIs and 44 T20Is, picking up 309, 188 and 47 wickets respectively and called time on his career becoming the fifth on the list of South Africa’s all-time leading wicket takers with 309.