London: South Africa great Morne Morkel has joined Surrey on a two-year contract ahead of the new English county season, the club announced Tuesday.
The towering fast bowler retired from international cricket this month after helping South Africa seal their first home Test series victory over Australia since their apartheid-enforced exclusion. Morkel, 33, took 309 wickets in 86 Tests at an average of 27.66 and was a member of the South Africa side that topped the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings in 2012.
He will now be available to play for Surrey, whose headquarters are at The Oval in south London, in all forms of the game as a Kolpak-registered player until the end of the 2019 English season. “It is a real honor that Surrey have asked me to join their club after my retirement from international cricket,” Morkel said in a club statement. “I’ve got fond memories of playing at the Kia Oval (with South Africa) and am looking forward to settling into London with my family for the summer, making new friendships with team-mates and hopefully great memories on and off the field.” Alec Stewart, Surrey’s director of cricket, added: “Following his retirement from international cricket I am very pleased that Morne has signed for Surrey for at least the next two years. “He has had an outstanding career with South Africa and is a player that will add enormous strength and experience to our squad. His appetite to continue playing and most importantly performing was very evident from our very first conversation.”