Morné Morkel

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Morné Morkel
Morne Morkel.jpg
Personal information
Full nameMorné Morkel
Born (1984-10-06) 6 October 1984 (age 36)
Vereeniging, Transvaal, South Africa
Height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
BowlingRight-arm fast
RelationsAlbie Morkel (brother)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 300)26 December 2006 v India
Last Test30 March 2018 v Australia
ODI debut (cap 89)6 June 2007 v Asia XI
Last ODI16 February 2018 v India
ODI shirt no.65
T20I debut (cap 28)11 September 2007 v West Indies
Last T20I15 September 2017 v Pakistan
T20I shirt no.65
Domestic team information
2009–2010Rajasthan Royals
2011–2013Delhi Daredevils
2014–2016Kolkata Knight Riders
2016St Lucia Zouks
2018–2020Surrey (squad no. 64)
2019Tshwane Spartans
2019/20Perth Scorchers
2020/21Brisbane Heat
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 86 117 153 156
Runs scored 944 268 2,062 378
Batting average 11.65 9.24 13.13 9.45
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/4 0/0
Top score 40 32* 82* 35
Balls bowled 16,498 5,760 27,885 7,490
Wickets 309 188 566 239
Bowling average 27.66 25.32 25.46 25.71
5 wickets in innings 8 2 20 3
10 wickets in match 0 0 2 0
Best bowling 6/23 5/21 6/23 5/21
Catches/stumpings 25/– 31/– 51/– 41/–
Source: Cricinfo, 19 August 2020

Morné Morkel[a] (born 6 October 1984)[2] is a South African-Australian cricketer who played international cricket between 2006 and 2018. He is a right-arm fast bowler and lower order left-handed batsman.

Morkel made his Test match debut in 2006 and went on to play 86 Tests for the South African national cricket team. In March 2018, he became the fifth bowler to take 300 Test wickets for South Africa.[citation needed] He also played in 117 One Day Internationals and 44 Twenty20 International matches, making his debut in both formats in 2007.

On 26 February 2018, he announced that he would retire from all forms of international cricket at the end of the four-match Test series against Australia.[3] Morkel played his last international game in March 2018 against Australia.[4]

Early career[edit]

Aged 19, Morkel began his first-class career with a match for Easterns against the touring West Indian cricket team in South Africa in 2003 and 2004.[5][6] In this match his first class career began by delivering 17 no-balls in a five-over spell costing 54 runs against West Indies' batsmen Chris Gayle, Daren Ganga and Ramnaresh Sarwan.[5] His first batting effort, however, was an unbeaten 44, which included a ninth-wicket stand of 141 with Albie as Easterns posted 313, trailing by 21.[5] He claimed his first top-class wicket by dismissing Ramnaresh Sarwan, caught by Daryll Cullinan for 72.[5]

Morkel played three further matches for Easterns in the 2003–04 season, which was Easterns' last in the SuperSport Series before South African domestic cricket was restructured.[7] He continued to struggle with no-balls, bowling 41 in 71 completed overs. He took five wickets in the season, and Easterns won the SuperSport Series shield, for the teams knocked out of the main tournament.

International career[edit]

National recognition[edit]

Morkel bowling in the Adelaide Oval nets, January 2009

Having taken six wickets in the one-run victory over Eagles in the SuperSport Series as well as scoring century, and also having scored a half-century as the Titans set a target of 178,[8] Morkel was called up to the Rest of South Africa side to face India two weeks later, thus missing the Titans' clash with Lions in the SuperSport Series. Morkel took four wickets, all of them in the first innings when India fell to 69 for five, and despite Alfonso Thomas' haul of seven for 56 in the second innings, it was Morkel who replaced Dale Steyn to make his Test debut three weeks later, on the 2006–07 Boxing Day Test in Durban against India.[9]

He made his ODI debut playing for an Africa XI side again their Asian counterparts and took 3 wickets. In the following game he opened the bowling with his brother Albie and this was the first time in ODI history that two brothers have done so.

Morkel was then selected in the South African squad for the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa, and went on to become one of the stars of the tournament, despite many feeling Twenty20 was a format with little scope for bowlers. Morkel bowled with consistent pace and accuracy, finishing with 9 wickets at 13.33 and an economy rate of 6.00, considered excellent in this form of the game.[10] This haul included a match-winning spell of 4/17 against New Zealand, all wickets being caught behind or bowled, and he was denied his 5th wicket in his final over only due to an incorrect no-ball call when he had clean bowled the batsman.[11] This would have been the first 5 wicket hall ever taken in international Twenty20 cricket. The host nation may have gone on to be eliminated from the tournament, but Morkel's bowling, along with the big hitting of his brother Albie, was unquestionably one of their biggest positives to emerge from the event. He was named as 12th man in the 'Team of the Tournament' by Cricinfo for the 2007 T20I World Cup.[12]

Morkel was subsequently selected for the tour of Pakistan, but unfortunately suffered a broken bone in his foot in the warm up match preceding the first test. The injury wasn't too severe and Morkel picked up five crucial wickets as Pakistan collapsed to 248 all out.

In October 2012, alongside Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, Morkel was part of a South African pace attack that bowling coach (and former Test cricketer) Allan Donald called the best the country had ever produced.[13]

Final years[edit]

In August 2017, Morkel was named in a World XI side to play three Twenty20 International matches against Pakistan in the 2017 Independence Cup in Lahore.[14]

During the third Test of the series against Australia in 2018, which was his last international series, Morkel became the fifth bowler for South Africa to take 300 wickets in Tests.[15] He took two wickets in the last Test match and South Africa eventually won the match by a margin of 492 runs. The series was also won by South Africa, which was the first series win by South Africa against Australia on home soil since the series in 1969–70.

Domestic career[edit]

South African domestic career[edit]

In the 2004–05 season, Morkel played three more first class matches. Easterns, who had been placed in the second-tier UCB Provincial Cup and replaced by the franchise team Titans from Centurion, did not field Morkel for any of the first four games, but played him in their final game of the season against Border. In that Morkel took his first five-wicket-haul, though Border won by eight wickets after Easterns conceded 383 for nine and 108 for two. He also took nine wickets against the touring Zimbabweans, playing for a Combined XI of Easterns and Northerns, in which rain "rescued" the Zimbabweans from defeat.[16] Morkel earned the call up to the first-tier Titans for the final game of the SuperSport Series season, and took three for 90 on the first day,[17] which he improved to five for 122 before their opponents Western Province Boland declared. The Titans drew the match after following on, and Morkel ended the 2004–05 season with 20 first class wickets at a bowling average of 18.20. His no-ball ratio also improved, with 24 from 128.1 overs.

The 2006–07 season began with the renamed Standard Bank Cup, now known as the MTN Domestic Championship, where Morkel missed the first four games and instead played provincial cup cricket for Easterns. However, after the Titans had lost three successive games, Morkel replaced Pieter de Bruyn in the eleven, and conceded 17 runs from nine overs as the Titans successfully defended 213 in 45 overs against former internationals Murray Goodwin and HD Ackerman of the Warriors. With Morkel, the team won two and lost three games, but still finished last in the league stage and did not qualify for the semi-finals. However, no bowler in the MTN Championship with more than five wickets had a lower bowling average than Morkel's 19.[18]

Morkel went on tour to Pakistan with South Africa Academy in August 2005, taking six wickets in two four-day matches, which did not have first class status. His wickets included four former Pakistani Under-19 players, all them batsmen or allrounders. He also went through without bowling a no-ball, but that problem returned when he played for the Titans in the International 20:20 Club Championship in Leicester, England in September. Morkel bowled two overs, with three no-balls and two wides, cost 41 runs, and the Titans lost by 67 after getting bowled out in 18 overs.

Morkel did not play in any of the first five first class games for the Titans in 2005–06, and also missed the first four Standard Bank Cup one-day games. However, after taking one for 24 from seven overs on one-day debut, where the team won by six wickets, he was retained for the remaining six games. He was responsible for one of ten four-wicket-hauls in the Standard Bank Cup that season, taking four for 41 as the Titans bowled out Cape Cobras for 189 to win by 19 runs and secured a top-two finish in the league stage. He took nine wickets at an average of 18.22 overall, but was dropped for Ethy Mbhalati in the semi-final, which the Titans won by ten wickets. He was then named in the initial eleven for the final, but he was subbed off for his brother Albie when the Titans were at 86 for six; the Titans lost by two wickets after Albie took three for 13. He was then given all six games for the Titans in Pro20, taking four wickets with an economy rate of 7.63 – largely increased by 60 runs in six overs in his last two matches, the last of which, the semi-final, had been shortened to a 7-over affair. He also played two first class matches in the SuperSport Series, contributing six wickets to the Titans' two victories, but was nevertheless dropped for the final three games and the final.

In September 2019, he was named in the squad for the Tshwane Spartans team for the 2019 Mzansi Super League tournament.[19]


Morkel has played in England for Kent County Cricket Club and began the 2008 season deputising for Rana Naved at Yorkshire. Rumours that he had been part of the second round of auctioning for the Indian Premier League, and signed a $60,000 contract with Rajasthan Royals, initially put Morkel's move to Yorkshire into doubt. However, Yorkshire were assured that he had not signed a contract to play in the IPL.[20]

On his Yorkshire debut against Nottinghamshire, Morkel picked up a hamstring injury which meant his time with Yorkshire was cut short.[21] He played in only one County Championship game for Yorkshire.[2]

Following his retirement from international cricket, Morkel signed a two-year contract with Surrey as Kolpak registered player.[22] However, in November 2020, Morkel ended his stay with Surrey, saying it was "no longer feasible" to spend prolonged periods of time away from his family due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[23]

Indian Premier League[edit]

Morkel played for Rajasthan Royals in the first three seasons of the Indian Premier League. In the edition of the league Morkel took 25 wickets in 16 matches and collected the Purple Cap for the best wicket-taking bowler playing for Delhi Daredevils. He last played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2016 Indian Premier League.

Playing style[edit]

Morkel is a right-arm fast bowler and useful lower order left-handed batsman. Former South African fast bowler Allan Donald has described him as having "genuine pace".[24]

Personal life[edit]

Morkel hails from an Afrikaner family and is the youngest of three children of Albert and Mariana Morkel. He proposed to partner Roz Kelly, an Australian sports journalist[25] in October 2013, and the couple got married in December 2014.[26] They have two sons.[27][28]His brother Albie Morkel was also an international cricketer representing South Africa.

Morkel became a permanent resident of Australia on 6 November 2020,[29] allowing him to compete in the Big Bash League as a local player.[30]


  1. ^ Morkel's forename, which is Afrikaner in origin, is spelled with an accented e.[1] In common use this is often not used.


  1. ^ Morné Morkel, Wisden online. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b Warner, David (2011). The Yorkshire County Cricket Club: 2011 Yearbook (113th ed.). Ilkley, Yorkshire: Great Northern Books. p. 374. ISBN 978-1-905080-85-4.
  3. ^ "Morkel to retire from international cricket after Australia series". Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Morkel to retire from international cricket after Australia series". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d "West Indies tour of South Africa at Benoni, Jan 9-12 2004 | Match Summary | ESPNCricinfo". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Morne makes his mark". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  7. ^ "SuperSport Series Matches played by Morné Morkel (26)". Pakistan Cricket. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  8. ^ Bowlers lead Titans to thrilling one-run victory, by Sam Collins, Cricinfo, retrieved 27 December 2006
  9. ^ Filtered commentary – 2nd Test: South Africa v India at Durban, Dec 26–30, 2006, from Cricinfo, retrieved 27 December 2006
  10. ^ Records – ICC World Twenty20, 2007–08 – Most wickets, from Cricinfo, retrieved 9 October 2007
  11. ^ 20th Match, Group E South Africa v New Zealand at Durban, Sep 19, 2007, from Cricinfo, retrieved 9 October 2007
  12. ^ "The chosen ones". Cricinfo. 25 September 2007.
  13. ^ "Donald rates Proteas pace lineup best ever". 3 News NZ. 31 October 2012. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Faf du Plessis named captain of World XI to travel to Pakistan". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Morkel joins '300 club' at Newlands". Sport24. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  16. ^ Rain rescues the Zimbabweans, from Cricinfo, 21 February 2005
  17. ^ Jacobs puts Eagles in control, from Cricinfo, 11 March 2005
  18. ^ Bowling in MTN Domestic Championship 2006/07 (Ordered by Average) Archived 26 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine, from CricketArchive, retrieved 27 December 2006
  19. ^ "MSL 2.0 announces its T20 squads". Cricket South Africa. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  20. ^ Club Statement 13.03.08 – Morné Morkel Archived 26 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine 13 March 2008
  21. ^ Morkel forced to return home with hamstring injury, from Cricinfo, retrieved 12 May 2008
  22. ^ "Surrey confirm Morkel capture". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Morne Morkel ends three-year Surrey stay". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  24. ^ Speed trial, by Telford Vice, Cricinfo, retrieved 27 December 2004
  25. ^ "Roz Kelly: Who is Morne Morkel's Aussie wife?". 27 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Morne Morkel on Instagram: Wedding". Instagram.
  27. ^ "Birth announcement of first son". Instagram.
  28. ^ "Birth announcement of second son". Instagram.
  29. ^ "South African pace ace Morne Morkel to play in Big Bash League as an Australian". The National. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  30. ^ "Morne Morkel to play for Brisbane Heat in BBL as local player". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 6 November 2020.

External links[edit]