Morne Morkel was reduced to tears as he addressed the media for the final time as a Proteas player.Â
Morkel has been a great servant to South African cricket from when he tookÂ 3-111 on debut against India in 2006 to takingÂ 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.
â€˜When you play in front of your home crowd, like at Newlands and here for the first couple of days, it is amazing,â€™ he said after the Proteas’ 492-run win.
â€˜Those are the sort of things Iâ€™m going to miss a lot. Iâ€™m really going to miss the banter in the change room, but Iâ€™m also excited for the new guy who’s going to come into the team and enjoy this journey. Itâ€™s a really special journey.â€™
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.
â€˜A lot of guys say they donâ€™t miss the game, but Iâ€™m definitely going to miss it,â€™ he said. â€˜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 wasnâ€™t going to miss it. I still have a love of the game.â€™