English Counties Target Morne Morkel As Potential Kolpak Signing

Prince Singh / 13 August 2017

Morne Morkel can be the latest player to turn his back on South Africa national team in order to ply his trade in England, according to ESPNcricinfo.   

In order to attain career security, the South African players are seeing England’s domestic circuit as a viable option. The last few months have seen several capped Proteas stars including Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw signing the Kolpak deals to play county cricket, citing the threat of Brexit closing the door on such earning opportunities in England. South Africa has already suffered several big blows due to their players’ will to sign the Kolpak deals and they can be dealt another huge blow if Morkel takes the same route.

As per a report in ESPNcricinfo, at least three counties are pursuing him as a Kolpak signing ahead of the next season. One of those interested countries is Warwickshire while a London-based county is also interested in securing the fast-bowler’s services. What is worse for South Africa is that Morkel is also reportedly weighing up the options. With age not on his side and not being into the mix of things for limited-overs cricket, Morkel, who will turn 33 in October, could view a long-term county deal as a secure and lucrative way for the remaining years of his career. Moreover, the Brexit will also make him nervous as there are suggestions that the relevant trade deal that allows such players to qualify might become obsolete to those looking to build a career in the United Kingdom.

At a time when senior pacer Dale Steyn is on the sidelines due to a long injury layoff and AB de Villiers’ Test career in limbo, losing yet another senior member of the team will be a severe blow for the Proteas. Morkel has been in brilliant form and was elected as South Africa’s Man of the Series for his performances in the recently-concluded four-match Test series against England. The right-arm pacer picked up 19 wickets and was South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in the series.

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