The bro code

2015-04-12 15:00

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There’s a famous sledge – or chirp if you’re South African – that features England’s James Ormond and Australia’s Mark Waugh.

The latter commented, in 2001, to Ormond: “There’s no way you’re good enough to play for England.”

Ormond responded: “Maybe not, but at least I’m the best player in my family.”

This was, of course, in reference to Steve Waugh being the superior player of the two Waughs, who captained the side for years and was a leading run scorer.

One wonders if Albie Morkel has ever feared being on the receiving end of a similar insult.

Morné Morkel is now one of the most respected bowlers in Test cricket, with 62 matches to his name and a bowling average under 30.

Albie has played only one test and, despite being three years older, made that debut three years after his “little” boet.

Until recently, Albie was regarded as the better T20 player, given his all-round abilities and superior batting reputation in the format. Morné tended to have a roller coaster time of it in the shorter format, but this year he found himself the Proteas’ leading wicket-taker at the World Cup.

In the Indian Premier League, the brothers have recently also had contrasting fortunes.

Morné plays for reigning champions the Kolkata Knight Riders and was retained after last season, while Albie was snapped up at the last minute by the Delhi Daredevils, joining a side that finished last in 2014.

In their opening matches this season – Morné’s on Wednesday and Albie’s on Thursday – Morné emerged the stronger. He produced a superb spell of bowling to lead his side to victory against the Mumbai Indians, taking two wickets for just 18 runs in his four overs. Albie was also in good form, against the Chennai Super Kings, and made 73 not out.

His most recent batting stint before that, for the Titans, saw him score his maiden first-class century, so his eye was in. But he needed a six off the last ball to win, but got four – hence, a bitter one-run defeat.

You have to feel for the guy. And for his parents. Imagine his mum on the phone to India: “It’s OK, liefie, you also did really well...”

The thing is, he can win a game on his own for a side, as he’s shown sporadically before. Morné just does it more often, more consistently, and faster.

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