Former South Africa quick Morne Morkel could qualify as a local player in BBL 10
He retired from international cricket last year.
Updated - Mar 4, 2019 12:36 pm
Former South Africa pacer Morne Morkel could earn place as a local player in the Big Bash League (BBL) in the next couple of years. But it is likely that he will still be considered an import for the 2019-20 season. The 34-year-old, who retired from international cricket a year ago, said recently that he is interested to play in the BBL and JLT Sheffield Shield after having shifted base to Sydney with his family.
Morkel would have an immense value if could qualify as a local in the BBL for that would give his franchise the opportunity to rope in more overseas players besides having him – one of the most accomplished bowlers for South Africa with nearly 550 international wickets.
He is currently in Australia on a tourist visa and it could take up to five years for him to become an Aussie citizen. His journalist wife Roz Kelly and their two kids possess Australian passports. While acquiring citizenship is a long-term affair, Morkel could qualify as a local player by the time BBL 10 arrives in 2020-21 if he can get permanent residency.
A permanent resident can be qualified as a local if Australia’s cricket board and the cricketers’ association are convinced that the player is “dedicated to becoming eligible to represent Australia … and will not seek or agree to represent any other ICC Full Member”.
Morkel to spend five months this year playing for England county
With Morne Morkel set to spend five months of the current year in England to play for county side Surrey, it is less likely that he will get permanent residency in time for the next season of the BBL in 2019-20. The tall cricketer trained with the New South Wales team at the Sydney Cricket Ground and is keen to play in both Australia’s first-class cricket and BBL next season. However, he added that he is yet to have a formal discussion with the Blues (represent NSW in the Sheffield Shield) or BBL clubs.
“Australia is going to be home for me from now on so hopefully we can sort out passports and visas and those sort of things,” Morkel, who recently expressed apprehension over talent drain in South Africa, told cricket.com.au.