Morne Morkel, BBL, Australia
Morne Morkel is keen on playing the BBL next season as a local player. Image Courtesy: Getty

The former South Africa fast bowler, Morne Morkel has expressed his desire of playing the Big Bash League (BBL) as a local player next season. Morkel, who retired from international cricket last year is married to an Aussie journalist, Roz Kelly. Meanwhile, he is currently in Australia on a tourist visa and is likely to pursue citizenship. Speaking to cricket.com.au, he said Australia is going to be his home from now. Besides, Morne added he is sorting the passport and visas issues to settle the matter.

Australia’s going to be my home – Morne

The lanky fast bowler, who had picked 544 international wickets across formats noted he is ready to follow the process of getting Australian citizenship early. However, he added there is no confirmation on what the future holds of his association with Australia’s state cricket teams. Though he is keen on plying his trade in the Australian cricket, Morne Morkel said he had spoken to few of the players as of yet.

Morne Morkel, BBL, Australia
Morne Morkel said Australia will be his home from now onwards. Image Courtesy: Getty

“Australia is going to be home for me from now on, so hopefully we can sort out passports and visas and those sort of things,” he told cricket.com.au.

“I understand there’s a process and I respect that. I’m open to any possibilities and opportunities that come my way because I’m going to base myself in Australia for the next couple of years or however long it may be”

“Australia’s going to be my home, so I’m definitely trying to get my foot in the door. But there’s been no formal sit-down discussions about signing or playing any state cricket. It’s just been about meeting the guys and getting a feel for Australia,” Morkel added.

I am mentally and physically fit in BBL – Morne

Meanwhile, Morne Morkel had played in the Indian Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League in the past but not the Big Bash League. Keeping his eyes on making his debut in the BBL as a local player; Morkel said he is open to opportunities in his coming days.

South Africa's Morne Morkel Aims to Play Big Bash League as a Local Player South Africa's Morne Morkel Aims to Play Big Bash League as a Local Player South Africa's Morne Morkel Aims to Play Big Bash League as a Local Player South Africa's Morne Morkel Aims to Play Big Bash League as a Local Player

Though Morkel has been ageing, he believes he is physically and mentally fit to play and bowl four overs at least in a game.

“I’m still available for all formats, so if there’s an opportunity here, that’d be great,” he added.

“I still feel mentally and physically that I’m capable of playing and bowling a lot of overs. I love the game, so I think it’s important to give back – and if I can add value by playing red-ball cricket and spend time with youngsters, that’s the stuff that really excites me.”

Meanwhile, Morne would not be the first South African player to have Australian citizenship (even if it happens). As in the past, Johan Botha, the right-arm off-spinner – who had played five Tests, 78 ODIs and 40 T20Is for Proteas also attained an Aussie citizenship. However, Both retired from all forms of cricket early this year.

Gautam Sodhi

I am more than just a cricket lover. I have been breathing this game since I was three, and now I am making a living out of it. Also, FC Barcelona happens to be my second love, and evidently, I prefer...