Morkel in BBL as ‘local player’
Former South African fast bowler Morne Morkel has signed with Brisbane Heat as a local player for the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) 2020-21.
Morkel has gained permanent residency in Australia which allows him to take part in BBL as a local player given that he should not represent any other ICC full member nation.
The 6 feet 5-inch tall fast bowler, who played one match for Perth Scorchers as an overseas cricketer in the previous season, is excited to join Heat squad as an ‘Aussie’.
“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.
“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.”
In 2018, Morkel announced retirement from internaional cricket and joined English county club Surrey on a two-year Kolpak deal. He moved to Australia in the same year and currently lives in Sydney with his family.
The tenth edition of BBL will commence on the 10th December. Teams are still stacking up international and local players. Brisbane Heat currently have Englishmen Tom Banton, Lewis Gregory and Afghan mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman as overseas men. Hence there is a possibility of Brisbane fielding all three with Morkel in the playing XI.
Morkel’s long-time South African mate AB de Villiers opted out of BBL. de Villiers was supposed to join Brisbane for 2020-21 season.
Brisbane Heat squad (so far): Tom Banton (England), Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Tom Cooper, Lewis Gregory (England), Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Ben Laughlin, Chris Lynn, Morne Morkel, Mitch Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan), Jack Wildermuth