Morne Morkel Joins Heat | Brisbane Heat - BBL
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Morne Morkel Joins Heat

05 November 2020

The Brisbane Heat have welcomed the recruitment of one of the most experienced ‘local’ players in their history for the coming KFC Big Bash League this summer.

South African fast bowling great Morne Morkel, who played 86 Tests, 117 ODIs and 44 T20Is for the Proteas, will join the Heat for BBL|10 after signing with the club as a locally qualified player.

Morkel, 36, and his wife, leading sports broadcaster Roz Kelly, have two children and live in Australia.

The 1.96m paceman was a replacement International player for one game for the Perth Scorchers last summer but has signed for the full season for Brisbane after gaining permanent residency.

Currently on the comeback trail from an ankle operation after starting the northern summer playing county cricket in England, Morkel will link with the Heat later this month to prepare for the BBL which gets underway on 10 December.

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A vastly experienced player, Morkel retired from international cricket in 2018 with 306 Test wickets and 180 ODI wickets to his name.

His T20 record includes 77 wickets in 70 matches at 7.69 in the Indian Premier League.

He played for the Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils franchises, where he was captained by current Brisbane assistant coach and foundation Heat player James Hopes.

WATCH: Morne Morkel Signs with the Heat

 

Heat coach Darren Lehmann said he was eagerly anticipating Morkel’s turn in teal for the summer.

“I saw a line from Dan Christian the other day that ‘old blokes win stuff’ and while I am in no way putting Morne in the ‘old’ category like ‘Christo’ certainly is, we believe his experience with bowling in different conditions is invaluable and will be beneficial to the squad,” he said.

“Anyone who has played or coached with him or against him will happily attest that he is a champion person. On the international front, I consider his best bowling efforts came as he got older.  His control and skill with the ball were his trademarks so it will be great to introduce him into our group.”

Morkel said he was pleased to link with Brisbane ahead of BBL|10.

“I am still enjoying my cricket enormously and the chance to be part of the Heat squad is something I am keen to experience,’’ he 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.”

Lehmann confirmed that the Heat were working on additional recruiting options, with international recruits Tom Banton and Lewis Gregory both announced earlier this week for England’s ODI and T20 tour of South Africa which overlaps with the start of the BBL.

“We’ve got a few things in motion and will stay close with Tom and Lewis to map out the best plan for them to get here and perform at their best in the BBL,’’ he said.

The Heat open its season in Canberra on 11 December against the Melbourne Stars followed by a clash with the Sydney Thunder on 14 December at Manuka Oval before returning home to play the next block of games.

The newly revamped Gabba and Metricon Stadium will host Heat home games as well as neutral matches once the competition reverts to Queensland from 23 December.

The Heat will host the Adelaide Strikers at the Gabba on 23 December and the Hobart Hurricanes on 27 December as well as being the ‘away’ team on 30 December when they clash with the Hurricanes in the return clash at the Gabba.

Venues for matches scheduled in the New Year will be announced in the coming weeks, with additional games earmarked for the Gabba and Metricon Stadium.

 

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The Heat have announced the following players so far for BBL|10:

Tom Banton (Eng)
Max Bryant
Joe Burns
Tom Cooper (NEW)
Lewis Gregory (NEW, Eng)
Matthew Kuhnemann
Marnus Labuschagne
Ben Laughlin
Chris Lynn
Morne Morkel (NEW)
Mitch Swepson
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan)
Jack Wildermuth (NEW)