South Africa news April 4, 2013

Albie Morkel considers his SA career over

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Albie Morkel has become the second South African player in the past one week to consider his international career over. In an interview to the Times of India, Morkel admitted he does not see the IPL as an opportunity to stake a claim for a national recall.

"By all counts I won't play for South Africa again, so it's not a desire of mine to prove anything to anyone," Morkel wrote. "My focus will be to do my best for CSK and contribute on and off the field."

Last Thursday Ashwell Prince signed a two-year Kolpak deal with Lancashire and yesterday went to Lord's to confirm the end of his ambitions to play for South Africa.

Morkel and Prince both lost their central contracts last month, when CSA announced their 21-player list. Also dropped from the books was Jacques Rudolph, Rusty Theron and the retired Mark Boucher. The four who are still playing were told by convener of selectors Andrew Hudson that they would be considered for the national team if any of them showed exceptional form, but the reassurance has not been a comfort to two of them.

Prince, who last played in the Boxing Day Test of 2011, appears to have accepted losing his place in the Test line-up. Mohammed Moosajee, the South Africa team manager who has known Prince throughout his career said that at 35, the batsmen was simply looking for ways to "further his career before retirement," so that the administrators harbour no hard feelings over his new contract.

For Morkel, the situation is a little different. He is regarded as one of the top Twenty20 allrounders in the game, has been called one of the best finishers by MS Dhoni and, on face value, seems to have all the qualities South Africa need in a powerful middle-order hitter in limited-overs. But his numbers do not match his reputation.

In ODIs, Morkel averages 23.69 with the bat and 37.98 with the ball and has seldom put in the kind of match-winning performance expected of him. His strike rate in T20s sits at over 142.73, but with South Africa's constantly changing structure there was never room to use him as an opening bowler and there was not a designated spot in the batting line-up for him. Morkel did not settle into a role, as he did at CSK, and the lack of certainty seemed to impact on his performances. Stephen Fleming alluded to that at the 2012 Champions League when he explained why Morkel's success in the IPL outweighed his achievements at international level.

"He is a bit more secure with us and a bit more in spotlight which may make him more comfortable with CSK in his role," Fleming said. "When you have got a talented side like South Africa, they try different techniques and tactics all the way through and he may be searching a bit for his role within the side."

The system gave Morkel many years, but not enough successive matches, to find his place and eventually cut him off. Although Hudson did not close the door on Morkel, he left it barely ajar when he said the selectors felt it was time to "move forward," and had "one or two other options in mind for the limited-overs formats."

Ryan McLaren is the first choice allrounder at the moment but Chris Morris, Morkel's new team-mate at CSK, is another of the players South Africa are looking to blood in that role. Morkel had nothing but praise for the man whom he may end up facing off against for a place in the starting XI. "Chris has really done well in the last two seasons in South Africa. He is a fierce competitor, bowls fast and can hit the ball long. He will definitely win CSK a few games," Morkel said.

Or his graciousness may just be another sign of how well Morkel has been managed by Fleming and how much he enjoys playing under him. Morkel will meet up with his CSK team-mates after playing in the South African domestic T20 final on Sunday which means he will not be available for their opener against Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dhavalcoholic on April 5, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    Albie was a batting allrounder, who got used as a bowling allrounder.

    CSA has always tried to find another Lance Klusener. And in their attempt, they have wasted atleast Justin Kemp and Albie Morkel.

    In his last few years, Albie often came to bat when the RRR was 8+ or when there were about 20-30 balls left in the inning. He has more batting skills than just pinch hitting. His scored 97 against ZIM when he opened the inning & got sufficient time to come-in. In his only test inning, he scored 50+, again he got sufficient time to settle. But because he was always used a pinch hitter, he never got chance to show his batting prowess & had to claim his place mainly on his bowling performance, in which he was average.

    Same thing happened with Justin Kemp. The only inning where he had time to settle, he went on to score 130+. Rest of the time he was used like Albie.

    It also seems that David Miller is going to be wasted a lower order pinch hitter.

  • DeekshaSpeaks on April 4, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    There's absolutely no comparison between Morris and Albie; can't even imagine the likes of Morris getting a game for CSK as long as Morkel's around. There's no competition between the two, not for one second. I don't think he should close the door on his South Africa career but I'm glad CSK's had the brains to hold on to him at all costs. It's nice to see that someone respects that kind of potential even when it doesn't always pay dividends.

  • Lakpj on April 4, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    I don't think SA used him well. he was more of a batting all-rounder, his bowling wasn't his strongest art. He would have added more to this SA team wherethey need an all-rounder who can at-least fill some space when Kallis goes. But not playing for SA will not be the worst thing for him as T20 leagues will want him, from there he can make a good living for him self.

  • Deepakrio278 on April 4, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    When we saw him hit the Aussies around the park in the @008-09 tour and play his part in winning the series with just 150+ runs my brother told me here is the next Zulu.But Albie just could not grab his place in SA and Fleming has explained why.He was not given a role and often SA saw him as a death bowler which he is not.Only if they had used him as an opening bowler and used Steyn and Morne later maybe this article would have been different.but iam more than happy to hear him say that he will do his best for CSK because im from Chennai.All the best Albie..CSK LEGEND

  • ALL STARS XI on April 9, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    yea, better he can come out of South Africa... :) you come to chennai man!!!!! ROAR FOR CSK....... always u are an imp. all-rounder for csk..... better stay in ipl......that too csk.. our indian captain dhoni is the right person to utilise you........come on........... come soon to join IPL.......chennai ku whistle podu!!!!!! ;)

  • Srinath BadriNarayanan on April 9, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    it is mainly because, Albie is 'under-utilized'. if you see the number of balls faced by morkel in ODIs it is only a MERE 780 deliveries. if you see the openers like amla or smith, they play those balls in just one series itself if they hang out sometime there..!! and albie will come into bat only at the end, say 45th over either to chase down a big target in few balls or to put up a commanding total on the board. remember he is the man of the series in australia series 2008-09, with a consistent performance in every match! from that, aussies are afraid of him, and they have rightly kept his name as Albie "powerplay" Morkel.. and leading wicket taker of the CSK, and known for his big hitting and huge sixes out of the ground -- for him, such a situation, to prove some more, is quite not digestible.. let the South african selectors reconsider this one, atleast considering these points!

  • on April 7, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Albie Morkel has proved his worth time and again and is obviously a keystone player for CSK..... for me i think he is a bit under rated...

  • on April 6, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    @Albie: You better stay at CSK. You are more fit here. It very unfortunate for Albie not to get a change in SA team. Good luck.

  • 2nd_Slip on April 5, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    I would like to thank Albie for giving his all for the proteas when called up and wish him all the best for the future. Certainly not a bad player as the presented figures suggest but at the moment there is just better talent at SAs disposal.

  • Protears on April 5, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Albie Morkel, Ashwell Prince, Rusty Theron, all either past sell by or were never international level to begin with. I know there will be lots crying about this but honestly Albie was a abject failure and never dependable, Rusty Theron was a one show pony and never revived his career, Ashwell was past his best but was a solid player for a few years in the Proteas test middle order.

    There are better domestic options and its time to put this one to rest.

  • dhavalcoholic on April 5, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    Albie was a batting allrounder, who got used as a bowling allrounder.

    CSA has always tried to find another Lance Klusener. And in their attempt, they have wasted atleast Justin Kemp and Albie Morkel.

    In his last few years, Albie often came to bat when the RRR was 8+ or when there were about 20-30 balls left in the inning. He has more batting skills than just pinch hitting. His scored 97 against ZIM when he opened the inning & got sufficient time to come-in. In his only test inning, he scored 50+, again he got sufficient time to settle. But because he was always used a pinch hitter, he never got chance to show his batting prowess & had to claim his place mainly on his bowling performance, in which he was average.

    Same thing happened with Justin Kemp. The only inning where he had time to settle, he went on to score 130+. Rest of the time he was used like Albie.

    It also seems that David Miller is going to be wasted a lower order pinch hitter.

  • DeekshaSpeaks on April 4, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    There's absolutely no comparison between Morris and Albie; can't even imagine the likes of Morris getting a game for CSK as long as Morkel's around. There's no competition between the two, not for one second. I don't think he should close the door on his South Africa career but I'm glad CSK's had the brains to hold on to him at all costs. It's nice to see that someone respects that kind of potential even when it doesn't always pay dividends.

  • Lakpj on April 4, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    I don't think SA used him well. he was more of a batting all-rounder, his bowling wasn't his strongest art. He would have added more to this SA team wherethey need an all-rounder who can at-least fill some space when Kallis goes. But not playing for SA will not be the worst thing for him as T20 leagues will want him, from there he can make a good living for him self.

  • Deepakrio278 on April 4, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    When we saw him hit the Aussies around the park in the @008-09 tour and play his part in winning the series with just 150+ runs my brother told me here is the next Zulu.But Albie just could not grab his place in SA and Fleming has explained why.He was not given a role and often SA saw him as a death bowler which he is not.Only if they had used him as an opening bowler and used Steyn and Morne later maybe this article would have been different.but iam more than happy to hear him say that he will do his best for CSK because im from Chennai.All the best Albie..CSK LEGEND

  • ALL STARS XI on April 9, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    yea, better he can come out of South Africa... :) you come to chennai man!!!!! ROAR FOR CSK....... always u are an imp. all-rounder for csk..... better stay in ipl......that too csk.. our indian captain dhoni is the right person to utilise you........come on........... come soon to join IPL.......chennai ku whistle podu!!!!!! ;)

  • Srinath BadriNarayanan on April 9, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    it is mainly because, Albie is 'under-utilized'. if you see the number of balls faced by morkel in ODIs it is only a MERE 780 deliveries. if you see the openers like amla or smith, they play those balls in just one series itself if they hang out sometime there..!! and albie will come into bat only at the end, say 45th over either to chase down a big target in few balls or to put up a commanding total on the board. remember he is the man of the series in australia series 2008-09, with a consistent performance in every match! from that, aussies are afraid of him, and they have rightly kept his name as Albie "powerplay" Morkel.. and leading wicket taker of the CSK, and known for his big hitting and huge sixes out of the ground -- for him, such a situation, to prove some more, is quite not digestible.. let the South african selectors reconsider this one, atleast considering these points!

  • on April 7, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Albie Morkel has proved his worth time and again and is obviously a keystone player for CSK..... for me i think he is a bit under rated...

  • on April 6, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    @Albie: You better stay at CSK. You are more fit here. It very unfortunate for Albie not to get a change in SA team. Good luck.

  • 2nd_Slip on April 5, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    I would like to thank Albie for giving his all for the proteas when called up and wish him all the best for the future. Certainly not a bad player as the presented figures suggest but at the moment there is just better talent at SAs disposal.

  • Protears on April 5, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Albie Morkel, Ashwell Prince, Rusty Theron, all either past sell by or were never international level to begin with. I know there will be lots crying about this but honestly Albie was a abject failure and never dependable, Rusty Theron was a one show pony and never revived his career, Ashwell was past his best but was a solid player for a few years in the Proteas test middle order.

    There are better domestic options and its time to put this one to rest.

  • edgie on April 5, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    while i aggree in part that he was not used to his full potential when playing for the Proteas, he has also not done himself any favours with his VERY eratic form, and lack of consistancy be it with bat and ball. Many a gma has he played wher neither with bat nor ball has he delivered, and he went through a log teething period with the ODI side with little to show for it.And the excuse that he was not battign ina prefered place, comon, u r a professional, u r there for the team, not for where u want to play. Again, a pity that he was not utilised well, but not all the blame should fall at the door of the Proteas management.

  • Z.Majid on April 5, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    Albie must continue playing for SA He can bat under pressure and lead SA to victory

  • Clan_McLachlan on April 5, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    Albie is one of a number of unfortunate SA allrounders to play in the days of Jacques Kallis. Like the keepers who lost out to Boucher, the likes of Albie Morkel and Justin Kemp might have been regulars in many other national teams, but not in the same team as Kallis.

  • on April 5, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    I would say that great player was wasted.What more you want in an allrounder who can win you matches single handedly and bowl prett well.They have other allrounder like botha peterson and 5 batsman,3 bowlers ,3allrounders would be a pretty great combination in limited overs cricket.So sad.

  • gibbs.175 on April 5, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    He never proved...even could not ...he was a good alrounder for SA ......Dean Elgar is batter than Albie these days......good luck

  • Starboomber on April 5, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    50 ODI and people still say he wasn't given enough opportunity. Viru is a great player & still he was dropped by India. Potential alone is not enough, form counts...

  • Marktc on April 5, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Albie could have been a great player..he had loads of potential...but never lived up to it on he international front. Perhaps the system is partly to blame, perhaps he is as well. I wish him the best of luck for the future, but SA are no worse off without him.

  • highveldhillbilly on April 5, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    @MrGarreth - my sentiments exactly! As SA fans we have been disappointed time and time again by Albie. The only series that sticks out for me was the one in Aus in 08 and there I think he only had two great innings. He had his chances, unfortunately they didn't work out, that's life....

  • venkatesh018 on April 5, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    Thankx Albie for accepting u never had the quality to make the S African Test and ODI teams on a consistent basis. Yours skills belong to a lower level of cricket ie IPL and CSK.

  • on April 5, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    Albie has always been a potential for SA. He was expected to Play Lance Kluesner role but could never make a real impact.

  • krishkrish on April 5, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    SA losing excellent power hitting batsman and useful bowler. I felt Gary would recognise him. But sorry to learn he too not good enough to recognise him.

  • Uppercut07 on April 5, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    he was the perfect replacement for Kallis, too bad he didn't get enough opportunities

  • Robster1 on April 5, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    A talent that should still be in the SA squad for ODIs and the 20/20 side. A player not well utilized by SA. Here's hoping Albie...

  • RDLikesCricket on April 5, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    Not sure if Albie Morkel got utilized properly by SA. Was/Is he a batsman who could bowl or a Bowler who could bat? Did they subconsciously try to see another Kallis in Albie? If hez thinking that his SA days are over, its sad but atleast he seems to see the writing on the wall and is intending to move on. Good luck with his CSK assignments in IPL.

  • hayagriva on April 5, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    CSK's gain. South Africa's loss.

  • maddy20 on April 5, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    May be England can use him as back up if Broad gets injured!

  • quittthewhinging on April 4, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    The SA selectors are no great shakes but Albie really has not performed for SA as one would have hoped. By now he should have been one of the senior members of the ODI/T20 squads and been an automatic selection, but he just has not performed and it would have been short-sighted not to look for a younger replacement. Who that should be is of course another question and I hope the selectors know what they are doing. I am definitely not a Chris Morris fan.

  • MrGarreth on April 4, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    Its mostly non-South Africans or people who watch cricket sporadically that think SA should persist with Albie. I've probably seen all 50 odd of his ODIs and he just does not seem up to it. So many opportunities. I kept wondering when he would get dropped and he just wouldn't. They tried him in so many positions because they were desperate for him to work but it never did. Take away his 90 odd against Zim and he only has ONE fifty in his 50 odd ODIs with an horrendous bowling record. And what are South Africa to do? Make Morne, Dale and Lopsy share then new ball from the other end just so he can open the bowling and avoid getting carted around in the middle overs? People keep speaking about Zulu.. let me tell you something, he played anywhere. He played at 1 and he played at 9 and he scored hundreds at the top and won games at the bottom. Never made excuses and was a canny bowler. There is no comparison. Morkel did not work and I've seen guys do better than him and get less chances

  • on April 4, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    that shows how much talent SA team is having... i always loved zulu and that continue with albie. the one thing is that he has not performed when given opportunity. Behradien is no better batsman than albie morkel but he will keep his place. i strongly think ablie morkel's balling let him down. had he be a batsman with same calibre he would have been a good pick at 6 in any format but due to poor balling he is out. best think in today's world is that we are having good no. of t20 competition so wont miss him. he will be here in CSK then some other t20 team.

  • on April 4, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    I don't know why people prefer statistics over abilities.Serious talent wasted.Not impressed with CSA.

  • on April 4, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Albies t20i record is still good enough to keep him in the side but his one-day record isnt. With focus on the champions trophy the selectors are looking to fill the 6/7 spot hence the shift away from albie. Im sure if theres a t20 wc he will come back into reckoning. Don't give up albie.

  • abhiyog on April 4, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    For some one who averages 24 with bat and 38 with ball after playing more than 50 ODI's doesn't deserve a place in the National Squad.His style is suited only for T20 so he has done a decent job there and He can Never be a part of current World's No 1 Test side with his skills, But he is free to play anywhere and earn his livelihood so i wish him best of luck for his future....

  • ragdarbari on April 4, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    SA did to Albie, what MI is doing to pollard. They always tried to play conservatively and in last overs it was always albie's job to finish the game. This was much before ABD's recent great limited over form.

  • AKS286 on April 4, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    The point is his standards & potential is completely different from his stats. he fails to capitalize every opportunity. and also Mclaren is also in experiment phase.

  • Nadeem1976 on April 4, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    IPL is the place for all the good all rounders in the world. no matter which country you represent and what ever your age is if you are allrounder you are secure in IPL. IPL is great every body. I love it.

  • JBSA on April 4, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    CSK doesn't support Albie alone in this way. But every player. When Plessis and Bailey were unknown, CSK trusted and supported them. They gone all out in the auction to retain its players. CSK is more a family than team. Trust stands tall.

    Its more like RSA doesn't need talent like Albie rather than misusing/defining diff role to him. There was Kallis, Botha and Van Der Merwe for all rounders. Albie shone with CSK because of the trust he was given.

    Go and ask Haydos, Hussey, Albie, Bravo, Raina, Dhoni, Ashwin, Vijay, Hilfenhaus. They will say CSK is my home side. No other IPL team has this trust with its players. Exceptions being Gayle and Sachin

  • sriram.ganesh on April 4, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    Proteas have not used Albie wisely at all. They never showed faith in him. He has the potential to become a deadly all-rounder in ODIs and T20s for sure. After just one good season for CSK, du Plessis got into the Test, ODI and also became their T20I captain ! Think of the success Albie has had in 5 yrs of IPL !!!

  • venky91 on April 4, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Don't worry albie settle down in Chennai and enjoy your Chennai life

  • DeckChairand6pack on April 4, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    @Deepakrio you nailed it, JAM (John Albie Morkel) was a site to behold during that tour, blasting the Aussie bowlers to all corners. Pleasant memories indeed. But he just couldn't nail down his spot. His bowling was ok without being of the top drawer, and his batting exploits became more miss than hit. All of the best to Albie in is IPL exploits.

  • marlon17 on April 4, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    SA have never utilized Albie well... such a talented cricketer...

  • NinjaStarr on April 4, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    I rate Albie Morkel would have made a good test player. He has more patience in the longer format.

  • Nuxxy on April 4, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    Definitely one of the players SA lost out on using. And the only remaining death bowler in the country is Theron, and he's also off the list.

  • srinideva on April 4, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Who can forget your knock against RCB in 2012... Unbelievable player.. He can hit sixes as good as Gayle does...

  • srinideva on April 4, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    We indians especially CSK fans love you...Albie..we always with you..You`re a such a talent known and used by CSK management but the SA didn`t. #CSK forever

  • srinideva on April 4, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    Really fantastic player...article correctly showing that he does n`t get a games continuously...I hope he will enjoy his time with CSK..Dhoni needs to use him at 5. he got a talent, just need to have faith on him, that`s what CSK does and will do..Great personality..I hope he will play for SA again.

  • srinideva on April 4, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    Really fantastic player...article correctly showing that he does n`t get a games continuously...I hope he will enjoy his time with CSK..Dhoni needs to use him at 5. he got a talent, just need to have faith on him, that`s what CSK does and will do..Great personality..I hope he will play for SA again.

  • srinideva on April 4, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    We indians especially CSK fans love you...Albie..we always with you..You`re a such a talent known and used by CSK management but the SA didn`t. #CSK forever

  • srinideva on April 4, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    Who can forget your knock against RCB in 2012... Unbelievable player.. He can hit sixes as good as Gayle does...

  • Nuxxy on April 4, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    Definitely one of the players SA lost out on using. And the only remaining death bowler in the country is Theron, and he's also off the list.

  • NinjaStarr on April 4, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    I rate Albie Morkel would have made a good test player. He has more patience in the longer format.

  • marlon17 on April 4, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    SA have never utilized Albie well... such a talented cricketer...

  • DeckChairand6pack on April 4, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    @Deepakrio you nailed it, JAM (John Albie Morkel) was a site to behold during that tour, blasting the Aussie bowlers to all corners. Pleasant memories indeed. But he just couldn't nail down his spot. His bowling was ok without being of the top drawer, and his batting exploits became more miss than hit. All of the best to Albie in is IPL exploits.

  • venky91 on April 4, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Don't worry albie settle down in Chennai and enjoy your Chennai life

  • sriram.ganesh on April 4, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    Proteas have not used Albie wisely at all. They never showed faith in him. He has the potential to become a deadly all-rounder in ODIs and T20s for sure. After just one good season for CSK, du Plessis got into the Test, ODI and also became their T20I captain ! Think of the success Albie has had in 5 yrs of IPL !!!

  • JBSA on April 4, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    CSK doesn't support Albie alone in this way. But every player. When Plessis and Bailey were unknown, CSK trusted and supported them. They gone all out in the auction to retain its players. CSK is more a family than team. Trust stands tall.

    Its more like RSA doesn't need talent like Albie rather than misusing/defining diff role to him. There was Kallis, Botha and Van Der Merwe for all rounders. Albie shone with CSK because of the trust he was given.

    Go and ask Haydos, Hussey, Albie, Bravo, Raina, Dhoni, Ashwin, Vijay, Hilfenhaus. They will say CSK is my home side. No other IPL team has this trust with its players. Exceptions being Gayle and Sachin