Albie Morkel unavailable for first-class cricket in 2016-17

Albie Morkel's appearances in first-class cricket have been few and far between in the last four years Getty Images

Allrounder Albie Morkel will captain Titans in limited-overs cricket in 2016-17, but will not be available to play first-class cricket. Morkel, 35, said he took the decision because he did not want to keep spending so much time away from his family, and also wanted to allow someone younger the chance to come through in first-class cricket.

Morkel has become a limited-overs specialist of late, having played only one first-class game in the 2015-16 season, and just the one other since 2011-12. In all he has played 77 first-class matches, scoring 4117 runs at 44.26 and taking 203 wickets at 30.28. He played only one Test for South Africa, against Australia in Cape Town in March 2009.

While he had led Titans to a title win the domestic T20s last season - they also won the first-class competition, the Sunfoil Cup - they finished at the bottom of the table in the domestic one-dayers. That, Morkel said, did not bother him too much going into next season, given the team had lost a lot of players to the national set-up. "I think the environment at Titans is so healthy that it produces good performances," Morkel said. "But we just lacked continuity and we were not settled as a team. In two games, we lost nine players who were simultaneously selected for South Africa A and South Africa."

Morkel had been in good touch in Titans' successful Ram Slam T20 campaign, taking 10 wickets from 11 games while conceding less than five runs an over, and also scoring 198 runs at a strike rate of 141.42. He had a more middling Momentum One-Day Cup, with six wickets at an average of 42.00 and just the one fifty in seven games. He told the Titans website that he would demand high standards of himself in the coming season, and will stand down as limited-overs captain if he cannot find form.