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Surrey sign South African bowler Morkel

3 minute read
Surrey sign South African bowler Morkel

Published at 11:29am 11th April 2018.

Surrey County Cricket Club have signed South African fast bowler Morne Morkel on a two-year deal.

He will be available for all forms of the game until the end of the 2019 English season.

He is an experienced international cricketer, with 86 test caps and 117 One-Day international appearances for South Africa. The pace bowler has 309 test wickets to his name and his test average of 27.66 is on par with world class bowlers like England's James Anderson.

Morkel retired from international cricket following the Proteas recent victory in the test series with Australia.

Speaking after signing for Surrey, he said: "It is a real honour that Surrey have asked me to join their club after my retirement from international cricket.

"I’ve got fond memories of playing at The Kia Oval and am looking forward to settling into London with my family for the summer, making new friendships with teammates and hopefully great memories on and off the field."

Surrey's Director of Cricket, Alec Stewart, said: "[Morne] has had an outstanding career with South Africa and is a player that will add enormous strength and experience to our squad.

"He sets exceedingly high standards for himself and for our young bowlers to have the opportunity to train and play alongside Morne can only help to develop their own games."

Morkel's signing will be a boost to the Surrey county side.

Their preparation took a knock with the news that Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will not be available for the start of the season because of an ankle injury.

Surrey are said to be searching for another overseas player to fill Marsh's place - but Morkel does not fill that slot.

He has joined Surrey on a Kolpak contract.

Kolpak was a European Court of Justice ruling saying that players from countries with associate trade agreements with the European Union have the same right to freedom of movement as EU citizens.

It means that he is not classed as an overseas player, but is now ineligible to play for South Africa.

Surrey begin their County Championship campaign on April 20th, facing Hampshire at the Oval.