Morne Morkel joins Brisbane Heat as a local player

Morne Morkel

Former Proteas pace bowler Morne Morkel has signed for the Brisbane Heat and will represent the team as a local player after being granted permanent residency in Australia.

Morkel making moves

Morkel retired from international cricket in March 2018 but has continued to play the game in various domestic leagues around the world, most notably with Surry in England.

He made his first appearance in the Big Bash League in 2019 when he joined the Perth Scorchers as a replacement international player. Morkel has now been given the opportunity to play a full season in Brisbane after being granted permanent residency in the country.

“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, according to Cricinfo.

“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 eagerly anticipating his arrival

The move is no shot in the dark by Brisbane either. Their current assistant coach James Hope was captain of the Delhi Daredevils when Morkel was also a player there so they know exactly what they are getting with the lanky paceman.

Head coach Darren Lehmann also admitted that Morkel’s experience in high-pressure situations at all levels of the game is going to be invaluable to his side and he can’t wait for the South African to join up with the squad.

“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,” he said.

“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.”