Former Proteas paceman Morne Morkel has signed for the Brisbane Heat as a local player for the upcoming tenth edition of the Big Bash League.
Morkel, who retired from all international cricket in 2018, lives in Australia with his wife Roz Kelly, who is a local broadcaster down under, and their two children.
The 36-year-old recently obtained permanent residency in Australia and is on course to join his new team after an ankle surgery before the BBL gets under way in December.
Morkel represented the Proteas in 86 Test matches, 117 ODIs and 44 T20Is, accounting for 306 red-ball and 180 ODI wickets in his career and he is looking forward to the new challenge.
— Brisbane Heat (@HeatBBL) November 5, 2020
‘I am still enjoying my cricket enormously and the chance to be part of the Heat squad is something I am keen to experience,’ Morkel said.
‘I admit it will be a bit unusual to call myself a local, but we are enjoying living and working here and this is another aspect of our lives that I am looking forward to being a part of.’
Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann is also quite excited about Morkel’s arrival and hopes the South African can help them to their maiden BBL title.
‘I saw a line from Dan Christian the other day that ‘old blokes win stuff’ and while I am in no way putting Morne in the ‘old’ category like ‘Christo’ certainly is, we believe his experience with bowling in different conditions is invaluable and will be beneficial to the squad,’ added Lehmann.
‘Anyone who has played or coached with him or against him will happily attest that he is a champion person. On the international front, I consider his best bowling efforts came as he got older. His control and skill with the ball were his trademarks so it will be great to introduce him into our group.’