Morne Morkel
Morne Morkel (AFP Photo)

While backing countrymate Duanne Olivier‘s decision to end his international career after signing Kolpak deal, former South Africa pacer Morne Morkel believes the player drain will continue unless the national cricket board comes up with a plan.

Olivier is the latest South Africa star to prematurely put an end to a blossoming international career after opting to offer his services while playing for an English county club. Financial insecurity and a regular chance to play professional cricket are the two major driving forces behind the players choosing county over international cricket.

“They [Cricket South Africa] have to sit down and come up with plans because they’re going to lose a lot of players in the near future and they need to protect against that,” Morkel told cricket.com.au.

Morkel, who himself has signed a Kolpak deal, says the drifting away of players from the national cricket setup post their playing careers is also a matter of concern.

“Do you structure the contracting a little bit better? What security do you give the guys (in terms of) life after cricket? You talk about investing, but once a guy retires, they sort of drift away. I can name a number of players who they have invested a lot of money in, but you don’t see them coaching, you don’t see them involved with our academies.”

He added, “Give those guys a platform and say; ‘we’ve invested in you for so many years, when you’re thinking of settling down or moving on, this is where we see a role for you’.” I think that communication is not great at the moment so that’s something they can improve on.”

While admitting the Olivier’s exit isn’t a good news considering his recent form, Morkel said he has made the decision keeping financial security in mind. “It’s just unfortunate because Duanne had really settled in and is finding his feet … he knows what Test cricket is about. In terms of timing, it’s not great. (But) I think that decision was made long before a couple of months ago. He weighed his options up and it was a family decision and you have to respect that. It’s never nice to lose quality players, you always want to see them play for South Africa. But I understand it completely and I wish him all the best,” he said.