Albie Morkel: 6 facts about one of South Africa’s most talented all-rounders

Johannes Albertus “Albie” Morkel was born on June 10, 1981 in Vereeniging, Transvaal. Over the years, he has been one of South Africa’s entrusted all-rounders. Many in the cricketing fraternity thought he could turn out to be the next Lance Klusener of South African cricket, but he never managed to reach that sort of level. Coming from a family of cricketers, it is safe to say that Albie certainly has cricket in his blood. On his 35th birthday, Pramod Ananth lists a few interesting facts about the South African all-rounder. 

1.  Family of cricketers: Morkel’s father Albert and his other two brothers Malan and Morne are cricketers too. His younger brother Morne too has played international cricket for South Africa. Their father and the eldest brother did not play more than a few domestic games.

2.  Has a First-Class double century: Morkel scored an unbeaten 204 against Western Province Boland for the Titans in the 2004-05 season. He averaged 66.20 in 15 games that season to go with 20 wickets at 40.65. He has a First-Class batting average of over 44. His numbers in limited-overs are not too bad either.

3.  Has represented 3 County teams: He has played for Durham, Somerset and Derbyshire in the English County, playing mainly T20 cricket for them. At Durham, he played alongside his national teammate Shaun Pollock.

4.  Replaced brother Morne on Test debut: Albie replaced his baby brother Morne to make his Test debut against Australia in 2009. He scored 58 in his debut innings batting at No. 8 and picked up just one wicket as South Africa won the match by an innings and 20 runs to win the three-match series 2-1. Incidentally, that happens to his only Test till date.

5.  Hit 28 off a Virat Kohli over in IPL 2012: Morkel smashed 28 runs off an over from Kohli in IPL 2012 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2012. Needing 43 to win off the final two overs, Morkel hit Kohli for 4,6,4,6,2,6 in the penultimate over. With 15 needed off the final over, CSK won the match off the final ball, chasing 206. Other than CSK, he has also represented RCB, Delhi Daredevils (DD) and most recently Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in the IPL.

6.  Married childhood crush: Morkel married his childhood crush Marthmari Groenewald and the couple has a son AJ and daughter Cara. They family is based in Pretoria.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)