Albie Morkel made his ODI debut in 2004 against New Zealand. (Photo: Twitter/@BCCI)
Star South African all-rounder Albie Morkel on Wednesday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket months before the 2019 World Cup scheduled to be held in England later this year. "Time has run out for me on the cricket field, and I would like to announce my retirement from the game,” 37-year-old Morkel said in a statement. Morkel thanked the Cricket South Africa, friends, family members and fans for their support throughout this career as a professional cricketer that lasted close to 20 years. He had made his ODI debut in 2004 against New Zealand after his impressive performance in List A games in the 2003-04 season.
“Professional sport can be a ruthless space to operate in, and it's impossible to do it without a solid support system. I want to say a big thanks to Cricket South Africa because it was a huge honour to represent my country. Thank you to my family, friends, supporters and sponsors who were there for me through thick and thin, and most importantly my wife who played an unbelievable supporting role, allowing me to do what I love," he added further.
Morkel started his cricketing career in 1999. He made his first-class debut for Easterns against Northerns in the 1999-2000 domestic season and it took him four years to earn a call-up in the national squad.
In the 58 ODIs he played for South Africa, the all-rounder has scored 782 runs with the highest score of 97 against Zimbabwe in 2007. He has also taken 50 wickets in the limited overs format. In Tests, Morkel could not do much and played just one game scoring 58 runs and taking just one wicket.
However, it was T20 where he made his own reputation and has 4247 runs and 247 wickets to his name. Morkel was also a key player for MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In 91 IPL matches, Morkel has scored 974 runs with a strike rate of 141.98 and taken 85 wickets with an average of 27.75.