Chris Morris waves his hand to spectators and flashes a smile as he makes his way back from the ground after speaking to the television camera on this sunny Sunday afternoon at the JSCA Stadium.
He may have retired but the fans remember those deadly yorkers and big hits at the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“It is always good to be in India and it’s a place close to my heart,” the former South African all-rounder tells Sportstar.
“I have spent so much time in India and every time you get that cricket vibe.”
He says it feels different as a commentator. “It is quite nice arriving in India and not worrying about having to bowl,” he smiles. “I have so many nice memories about playing at the IPL.”
He remains the most expensive player in IPL history. Rajasthan Royals had spent Rs. 16.25 crore on him ahead of the 2021 season. He also played for Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore in his long stint in the IPL, which began in 2013.
Though his primary task was to bowl, he has to his credit some stunning knocks in the IPL, the 32-ball 82 not out for Delhi against Gujarat Lions in 2016 one of them.
“It is one of my favourite memories as we were (58 for four when I came in, chasing 173),” he says. “But it would have been better if we hadn’t lost by one run.”
Morris believes the IPL is more about the quality of cricket.
“People talk about its financial rewards but that is a completely separate story,” he says.
“Show me one cricketer who doesn’t want to play in the IPL and I will tell him he is a liar.”
Looking ahead to the T20 World Cup in Australia, Morris feels there are a few teams who look really good.
“New Zealand are such good World Cup performers, India have always been there and South Africa could also do really well,” he says.
“New Zealand, South Africa, India and Australia are my top four. You can’t count England out; they are playing unbelievably well. And Afghanistan or Bangladesh could surprise you.”
He thinks India will miss Jasprit Bumrah in Australia.
“He is a massive loss,” says Morris.
“He is Boom Boom for a reason. He is the best in the world in white-ball cricket in my opinion. But other bowlers are putting their hands up. There is one thing that India never struggles with and that is depth.“