Albie Morkel retires from all forms of cricket

Morkel made his first-class debut for Easterns against Northerns in the 1999-2000 domestic season before earning a call-up into the South African ODI set-up for the series against New Zealand in 2004.

A file photo of Albie Morkel. The South African all-rounder announced his retirement on Wednesday.   -  AFP

South Africa all-rounder Albie Morkel on Wednesday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, bringing an end to a career spanning two decades with immediate effect.

“Time has run out for me on the cricket field, and I would like to announce my retirement from the game. The last 20 years of my life took me on an incredible journey, with so many awesome memories that I will cherish forever,” the 37-year-old said in a Cricket South Africa (CSA) statement.

“I want to say a big thanks to Cricket South Africa, because it was a huge honour to represent my country. Thank you to my family, friends, supporters and sponsors who were there for me through thick and thin, and most importantly my wife who played an unbelievable supporting role, allowing me to do what I love.”

“Professional sport can be a ruthless space to operate in, and it’s impossible to do it without a solid support system. Thank you so much,” he added.

Morkel made his first-class debut for Easterns against Northerns in the 1999-2000 domestic season before earning a call-up into the South African ODI set-up for the series against New Zealand in 2004.

Morkel scored his highest individual score of 97 in ODIs versus Zimbabwe in 2007. He played a total of 58 ODIs, scoring 782 runs besides taking 50 wickets. He also played in a solitary Test against Australia in Cape Town in 2009.

However, it was in the T20s where Morkel made a name for himself, finishing with 4247 runs and 247 wickets. He was also a part of the IPL side Chennai Super Kings, taking 85 scalps and scoring 974 runs. He also played for Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Morkel also took 26 wickets and scored 572 runs in T20Is for his country.

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