Morné Morkel

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Morné Morkel
Morne Morkel.jpg
Personal information
Full name Morné Morkel
Born (1984-10-06) 6 October 1984 (age 33)
Vereeniging, Transvaal Province, South Africa
Nickname Morras, Haydos, Lobster
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Batting Left-handed
Bowling Right-arm fast
Role Bowler
Relations Albie Morkel (brother)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 300) 6 January 2006 v India
Last Test 24 January 2018 v India
ODI debut (cap 89) 6 June 2007 v Asia XI
Last ODI 10 February 2018 v India
ODI shirt no. 65
T20I debut (cap 28) 11 September 2007 v West Indies
Last T20I 25 June 2017 v England
T20I shirt no. 65
Domestic team information
Years Team
2004–2006 Easterns (squad no. 65)
2005–present Titans
2007 Kent
2008 Yorkshire
2011-2013 Delhi Daredevils
2014–2016 Kolkata Knight Riders
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI T20I FC
Matches 81 112 41 103
Runs scored 906 246 21 1,459
Batting average 12.08 9.46 10.50 14.16
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/4
Top score 40 32 * 8* 82*
Balls bowled 15,479 5,532 880 18,714
Wickets 283 186 46 361
Bowling average 28.46 24.48 23.84 27.50
5 wickets in innings 7 2 0 13
10 wickets in match 0 n/a 0 2
Best bowling 6/23 5/21 4/17 6/23
Catches/stumpings 21/– 30/– 5/– 35/–
Source: Cricinfo, 3 February 2016

Morné Morkel (born 6 October 1984)[1] is a South African cricketer who plays Test and limited overs cricket for South Africa and represents Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. He is a right-arm fast bowler with "genuine pace" according to former South African fast bowler Allan Donald,[2] and a useful lower order left-handed batsman. However, after a poor run of form, Morkel was dropped from the Test team in 2009. His elder brother Albie Morkel took his place. He regained his Test place in 2010. He was dropped again in 2015 due to injury concerns, his return in 2016 and 2017 was due to Dale Steyn's being kept out of the side due to injury concerns.



Aged 19, Morkel began his first class career with a match for Easterns against the touring West Indians. He took the new ball with older brother Albie, who later played ODI cricket for South Africa, and began by delivering 17 no-balls in a five-over spell costing 54 runs against West Indies' batsmen Chris Gayle, Daren Ganga and Ramnaresh Sarwan. His first batting effort, however, was an unbeaten 44, which included a ninth-wicket stand of 141 with Albie as Easterns posted 313, trailing by 21. He claimed his first top-class wicket by dismissing Ramnaresh Sarwan, caught by Daryll Cullinan for 72, and improved to four no-balls in six overs.

Morkel played three further matches for Easterns in the 2003–04 season, which was Easterns' last in the SuperSport Series before South African domestic cricket was restructured. He continued to struggle with no-balls, bowling 41 in 71 completed overs. He took five wickets in the season, and Easterns won the SuperSport Series shield, for the teams knocked out of the main tournament.

South African domestic career

In the 2004–05 season, Morkel played three more first class matches. Easterns, who had been placed in the second-tier UCB Provincial Cup and replaced by the franchise team Titans from Centurion, did not field Morkel for any of the first four games, but played him in their final game of the season against Border. In that Morkel took his first five-wicket-haul, though Border won by eight wickets after Easterns conceded 383 for nine and 108 for two. He also took nine wickets against the touring Zimbabweans, playing for a Combined XI of Easterns and Northerns, in which rain "rescued" the Zimbabweans from defeat.[3] Morkel earned the call up to the first-tier Titans for the final game of the SuperSport Series season, and took three for 90 on the first day,[4] which he improved to five for 122 before their opponents Western Province Boland declared. The Titans drew the match after following on, and Morkel ended the 2004–05 season with 20 first class wickets at a bowling average of 18.20. His no-ball ratio also improved, with 24 from 128.1 overs.

Morkel went on tour to Pakistan with South Africa Academy in August 2005, taking six wickets in two four-day matches, which did not have first class status. His wickets included four former Pakistani Under-19 players, all them batsmen or allrounders. He also went through without bowling a no-ball, but that problem returned when he played for the Titans in the International 20:20 Club Championship in Leicester, England in September. Morkel bowled two overs, with three no-balls and two wides, cost 41 runs, and the Titans lost by 67 after getting bowled out in 18 overs.

Morkel did not play in any of the first five first class games for the Titans in 2005–06, and also missed the first four Standard Bank Cup one-day games. However, after taking one for 24 from seven overs on one-day debut, where the team won by six wickets, he was retained for the remaining six games. He was responsible for one of ten four-wicket-hauls in the Standard Bank Cup that season, taking four for 41 as the Titans bowled out Cape Cobras for 189 to win by 19 runs and secured a top-two finish in the league stage. He took nine wickets at an average of 18.22 overall, but was dropped for Ethy Mbhalati in the semi-final, which the Titans won by ten wickets. He was then named in the initial eleven for the final, but he was subbed off for his brother Albie when the Titans were at 86 for six; the Titans lost by two wickets after Albie took three for 13. He was then given all six games for the Titans in Pro20, taking four wickets with an economy rate of 7.63 – largely increased by 60 runs in six overs in his last two matches, the last of which, the semi-final, had been shortened to a 7-over affair. He also played two first class matches in the SuperSport Series, contributing six wickets to the Titans' two victories, but was nevertheless dropped for the final three games and the final.

National recognition

Morkel bowling in the Adelaide Oval nets, January 2009

The 2006–07 season began with the renamed Standard Bank Cup, now known as the MTN Domestic Championship, where Morkel missed the first four games and instead played provincial cup cricket for Easterns. However, after the Titans had lost three successive games, Morkel replaced Pieter de Bruyn in the eleven, and conceded 17 runs from nine overs as the Titans successfully defended 213 in 45 overs against former internationals Murray Goodwin and HD Ackerman of the Warriors. With Morkel, the team won two and lost three games, but still finished last in the league stage and did not qualify for the semi-finals. However, no bowler in the MTN Championship with more than five wickets had a lower bowling average than Morkel's 19.[5]

Having taken six wickets in the one-run victory over Eagles in the SuperSport Series, and also having scored a half-century as the Titans set a target of 178,[6] Morkel was called up to the Rest of South Africa side to face India two weeks later, thus missing the Titans' clash with Lions in the SuperSport Series. Morkel took four wickets, all of them in the first innings when India fell to 69 for five, and despite Alfonso Thomas' haul of seven for 56 in the second innings, it was Morkel who replaced Dale Steyn to make his Test debut three weeks later, on the 2006–07 Boxing Day Test in Durban against India.[7]

He made his ODI debut playing for an Africa XI side again their Asian counterparts and took 3 wickets. In the following game he opened the bowling with his brother Albie and this was the first time in ODI history that two brothers have done so.

Morkel was then selected in the South African squad for the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa, and went on to become one of the stars of the tournament, despite many feeling Twenty20 was a format with little scope for bowlers. Morkel bowled with consistent pace and accuracy, finishing with 9 wickets at 13.33 and an economy rate of 6.00, considered excellent in this form of the game.[8] This haul included a matchwinning spell of 4/17 against New Zealand, all wickets being caught behind or bowled, and he was denied his 5th wicket in his final over only due to an incorrect no-ball call when he had clean bowled the batsman.[9] This would have been the first 5 wicket hall ever taken in international Twenty20 cricket. The host nation may have gone on to be eliminated from the tournament, but Morkel's bowling, along with the big hitting of his brother Albie, was unquestionably one of their biggest positives to emerge from the event.

Morkel was subsequently selected for the tour of Pakistan, but unfortunately suffered a broken bone in his foot in the warm up match preceding the first test. The injury wasn't too severe and Morkel picked up five crucial wickets as Pakistan collapsed to 248 all out.

In October 2012, alongside Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, Morkel was part of a South African pace attack bowling coach and former test cricketer Allan Donald called the best the country had ever produced.[10]

In August 2017, he was named in a World XI side to play three Twenty20 International matches against Pakistan in the 2017 Independence Cup in Lahore.[11]


Morkel has played in England for Kent and began the 2008 season deputising for Rana Naved at Yorkshire. Rumours that he had been part of the second round of auctioning for the Indian Premier League, and signed a $60,000 contract with Rajasthan Royals, initially put Morkel's move to Yorkshire into doubt. However, Yorkshire were assured that he had not signed a contract to play in the IPL.[12]

On his Yorkshire debut against Nottinghamshire, Morkel picked up a hamstring injury which meant his time with Yorkshire was cut short.[13] He played in only one County Championship game for Yorkshire.[1]

Indian Premier League

Morne Morkel played for Rajasthan Royals in the first three seasons of IPL. In 2012, Morne took 25 wickets in 16 matches and collected the Purple Cap for the best wicket-taking bowler and allegedly bowled a ball that clocked in at 173.9 km/ph (108 m/ph) but is commonly believed to be a glitch in the system. His team Delhi Daredevils finished first in the tables but failed to make the Playoff Final. He is playing for Kolkata Knight Riders now.

Personal life

Morné hails from an Afrikaner family, who are big cricket fans. Morné is the youngest of three children of Albert and Mariana Morkel. Prior to marriage, he used to live with his brother Albie and team mate AB de Villiers in Pretoria.[citation needed]

International five-wicket hauls

Test Cricket

# Figures Match Opponent Venue City Country Year
1 5/50 2  Bangladesh Shere Bangla National Stadium Dhaka Bangladesh 2008
2 5/75 20  England Newlands Stadium Cape Town South Africa 2010
3 5/54 27  Pakistan DSC Stadium Dubai UAE 2010
4 5/20 29  India SuperSport Park Centurion South Africa 2010
5 6/23 39  New Zealand Basin Reserve Wellington New Zealand 2012
6 5/146 44  Australia Adelaide Oval Adelaide Australia 2012
7 5/21 80  Zimbabwe St George’s Park Port Elizabeth South Africa 2017

One Day International Cricket

# Figures Match Opponent Venue City Country Year
1 5/38 54  New Zealand McLean Park Napier New Zealand 2012
2 5/21 85  Australia WACA Ground Perth Australia 2014

International Awards

Test Cricket

Player of the series awards

# Series Season Series performance Result
1 South Africa in England 2017 19 wickets with avg. 26.36, 78 runs (4 matches)  South Africa lost the series 3–1.[14][15]

Man of the Match awards

S No Series Season Match Performance Result
1 4th Test - Basil D'Oliveira Trophy Test Series 2009/10 1st Innings: 11-1-39-3 ; 1 ct. ; DNB
2nd Innings: 16-5-59-4 ; 1 ct. ; DNB
 South Africa won by an innings and 74 runs.[16]
2 3rd Test - South Africa in New Zealand Test Series 2011/12 1st Innings: 10* (5 balls, 1x6) ; 20-6-54-0
2nd Innings: 16.4-7-23-6 ; 1 ct. ; DNB
Match drawn.[17]

One-Day International Cricket

Player of the series awards

# Series Season Match Performance Result
1 India in South Africa 2010/11 12 wickets with avg. 11.41, 6 runs ; 4 ct. (5 Matches)  South Africa Won the series 3-2.[18]

Man of the Match awards

S No Opponent Venue Date Match Performance Result
1 Australia St George's Park, Port Elizabeth 23 October 2011 DNB ; 10-2-22-4  South Africa won by 80 runs.[19]
2 Sri Lanka Boland Park, Paarl 11 January 2012 1 (1 ball) ; 6-2-10-4  South Africa won by 258 runs.[20]
3 New Zealand McLean Park, Napier 29 February 2012 9.3-1-38-5 ; DNB  South Africa won by 6 wickets.[21]
4 Australia WACA Ground, Perth 16 November 2014 8-0-21-5 ; 2 ct. ; DNB  South Africa won by 3 wickets.[22]
5 India Saurashtra Cricket Stadium, Rajkot 18 October 2015 DNB ; 10-1-39-4  South Africa won by 18 runs.[23]

Twenty20 International Cricket

Man of the Match Awards

# Series Season Opponent Match Performance Result
1 2007 ICC World Twenty20 2007  Bangladesh 4-0-21-2 ; DNB  South Africa won by 7 wickets.[24]
2 2010 ICC World Twenty20 2010  Afghanistan DNB ; 3-0-20-4  South Africa won by 59 runs.[25]


  1. ^ a b Warner, David (2011). The Yorkshire County Cricket Club: 2011 Yearbook (113th ed.). Ilkley, Yorkshire: Great Northern Books. p. 374. ISBN 978-1-905080-85-4. 
  2. ^ Speed trial, by Telford Vice, Cricinfo, retrieved 27 December 2004
  3. ^ Rain rescues the Zimbabweans, from Cricinfo, 21 February 2005
  4. ^ Jacobs puts Eagles in control, from Cricinfo, 11 March 2005
  5. ^ Bowling in MTN Domestic Championship 2006/07 (Ordered by Average), from CricketArchive, retrieved 27 December 2006
  6. ^ Bowlers lead Titans to thrilling one-run victory, by Sam Collins, Cricinfo, retrieved 27 December 2006
  7. ^ Filtered commentary – 2nd Test: South Africa v India at Durban, Dec 26–30, 2006, from Cricinfo, retrieved 27 December 2006
  8. ^ Records – ICC World Twenty20, 2007–08 – Most wickets, from Cricinfo, retrieved 9 October 2007
  9. ^ 20th Match, Group E South Africa v New Zealand at Durban, Sep 19, 2007, from Cricinfo, retrieved 9 October 2007
  10. ^ "Donald rates Proteas pace lineup best ever". 3 News NZ. 31 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Faf du Plessis named captain of World XI to travel to Pakistan". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  12. ^ Club Statement 13.03.08 – Morné Morkel Archived 26 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine. 13 March 2008
  13. ^ Morkel forced to return home with hamstring injury, from Cricinfo, retrieved 12 May 2008
  14. ^ "South Africa tour of England, 2017". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 
  15. ^ Award shared with Moeen Ali
  16. ^ "Basil D'Oliveira Trophy, 2009 - 4th Test". 
  17. ^ "South Africa in New Zealand Test Series, 2012 - 3rd Test". 
  18. ^ "India in South Africa ODI Series, 2010/11". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Australia in South Africa ODI Series, 2011 - 2nd ODI". 
  20. ^ "Sri Lanka in South Africa ODI Series, 2012 - 1st ODI". 
  21. ^ "South Africa in New Zealand ODI Series, 2012 - 2nd ODI". 
  22. ^ "South Africa in Australia ODI Series, 2014 - 2nd ODI". 
  23. ^ "South Africa in India ODI Series, 2015 - 3rd ODI". 
  24. ^ "ICC World Twenty20 - 12th match, Group A – South Africa v Bangladesh Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  25. ^ "ICC World Twenty20 - 12th match, Group C – South Africa v Afghanistan Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 

External links

  • Morné Morkel at Cricinfo
  • Morne Morkel's profile page on Wisden
  • Morné Morkel at CricketArchive
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