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Australian Test series to be Morkel's last

Cricket

Just six Test wickets shy of 300, South Africa paceman Morne Morkel has plenty of inspiration ahead of his farewell Test series against Australia.

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He declared on Monday the four-match series will be his last, meaning Australia’s batsmen can expect plenty of “chin music” and a fiery welcome at the crease.

Morkel has taken 43 wickets in 13 Tests against Australia, at an average of 38.58.

“It was an extremely tough decision but I feel the time is right to start a new chapter,” Morkel, who is married to former Australian television presenter Roz Kelly, said.

“I have a young family and a foreign wife, and the current demanding international schedule has put a lot of strain on us.

“I have to put them first and this decision will only benefit us going forward.

“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.”

Morkel’s imminent retirement will be a blow for the Proteas, with the big fast bowler boasting an impressive international record.

Going into his 84th Test, the 33-year-old needs six victims to join Shaun Pollock (421), Dale Steyne (419), Makhaya Ntini (390) and Allan Donald (330) in the exclusive 300-club for the Proteas.

Morkel averages 28.08 with the ball in Test cricket and has taken seven five-wicket hauls.

He has claimed 529 international wickets across all three formats for South Africa.

“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,” he said.

Thabang Moroe, Cricket South Africa’s acting CEO, said Morkel had formed part of the golden era of fast bowlers that made the South Africa Test team a champion outfit that was respected throughout the world.

– AAP

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