Proteas

Morkel ponders retirement, will discuss future with CSA

Morne Morkel (AP)
Morne Morkel (AP)

Cape Town - Morne Morkel admits that his career as a Protea is "nearly finished" and would decide his future after the completion of the England Test series.

Morkel, 32, has played 76 Tests thus far in a career that's spanned 11 years of international cricket - but is it time for the lanky fast bowler to retire?

Morkel acknowledges that his time with the Proteas is coming to a close, but insists that he is still mentally and physically strong to play both Tests and ODIs until the 2019 World Cup.

He will be approaching 35 by the time the one-day tournament in England begins.

"I'm not starting my career. My career's nearly finished," Morkel was quoted as saying by CricBuzz.

"It's not rocket science that they probably want to start looking, in white-ball cricket, at the 2019 World Cup.

"Am I going to part of those plans? If I can be around to help the younger guys find their feet, so be it. I'll do that. For me the main focus is this tour and then we'll go back and see how we go."

"... For me it's just a matter of making the most of what is still left in the tank and giving it my best."

In his five Test matches this year, Morkel has picked up 20 wickets with an average of 27.40.

Already in the two of four-Test matches in England, he has taken nine wickets thus far against Joe Root's side.

As with team-mate AB de Villiers, Morkel said he will discuss his future plans with Cricket South Africa (CSA) when returning to South Africa at the end of August.

With Dale Steyn's return to the Proteas still clouded, Morkel's experience will be vital considering the potential busy and challenging home summer looming ahead.

The Proteas will have a short break before hosting Bangladesh for two-Tests, three ODIs and two T20Is series starting in September.

Although the schedule has not been confirmed, Bangladesh will be followed by India who are making a full tour across all three formats with four Test matches, five ODIs and three T20 International matches.

The India tour in turn will be followed by Australia for a series of four Test matches during February and March 2018.

But for now, all attention turns to the third Test at The Oval starting on Thursday, July 27 with the series squared at 1-1.

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