Morne Morkel was reduced to tears as he addressed the media for the final time as a Proteas player.
Morkel has been a great servant to South African cricket from when he took 3-111 on debut against India in 2006 to taking 9-110 at Newlands last month and bravely bowling with a side strain at the Wanderers.
The 33-year-old was given a guard of honour before the start of play on Tuesday and finished with 2-28 in his final innings to take his wicket tally to 309 in 86 Tests.
‘When you play in front of your home crowd, like at Newlands and here for the first couple of days, it is amazing,’ he said after the Proteas’ 492-run win.
‘Those are the sort of things I’m going to miss a lot. I’m really going to miss the banter in the change room, but I’m also excited for the new guy who’s going to come into the team and enjoy this journey. It’s a really special journey.’
Although he will continue to play the game, a Kolpak deal in England the most likely option, Morkel was adamant that nothing would replace playing for his country.
‘A lot of guys say they don’t miss the game, but I’m definitely going to miss it,’ he said. ‘Not one day did I not enjoy coming to the nets and warm-ups. I enjoyed everything. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss it. I still have a love of the game.’