In life many aim to add value to their name, to make their name become known to the world. Sportsman succeed to an extent with this, they become known for the period in which they play. However, very few leave legacies behind and I have had the honor of being able to watch one such person play, that being, Morne Morkel.
Morne Morkel, since his debut in 2006, has been instrumental in providing our nation with much joy over the years. During his peak, along side some of our best players, he took our team to knew heights (pun intended) in the world of cricket.
As a cricket lover in South Africa, I can only sing his praises. As a fan, he has played a pivotal role in growing my passion for the game because he made his debut in the period that I started forming my love for the game. He was this tall, cute guy (it was my teenage years after all), that bowled short length deliveries with such pace that made batsmen quake with fear, therefore making them duck and dive while we watched in awe. All these years later, and to think he is still the same guy who people fear to face. If I may say, he has proven to have only gotten better when closing in on retirement. Yesterday for example, we got to witness his bravery and preservance/determination. After being advised to not bowl, Morne decided to continue to end his career and also help his team inch closer to victory.
If Morne Morkel influenced me, I can only imagine the influence he has had to thousands of people in South Africa. Just picture the children playing, whether it being in a village or at a school, trying to impersonate this great bowler with precision. I can remember having a friend being a similar height and built to Morne, and playing cricket in our school grounds with my friend being Morne. So just imagine how many other cases there has been.
Morne Morkel has also been a role model off the field. In an age were every detail of a public figure gets publicized, Morne has never brought any disrepute to his name. He, personally, showed me that he is a man of his word. This may be considered an “on” the field event but for it just highlights his value.
In 2009, my second match but the first 5 day match I attended, Morne Morkel was fielding on the boundary line. This match was attended by a group of friends from my high school organized by my school . I remember, as if it was yesterday, the moment we got to the fence of boundary screaming to Morne Morkel to please sign our bats. Morne Morkel obliged to sign our many bats but obviously it was to be in between deliveries that were being bowled. However, it so happened that Australia were 9 wickets down at that stage and one of the deliveries that followed yielded a wicket. This was followed by a celebration and Morne going away to teammates, leaving us happy that innings ended but sad because Morne was gone without having signed our bats. However I disappointment was gone soon after as we realized that he ran back to sign our bats and keep to his word. Proving he his a man of honor.
There is so much one can say about Morne because that’s truly how special he has been to South African Cricket. However today is his last day of cricket and I will be holding back tears throughout this day just thinking about it. But from my side, I just want to say THANK YOU MORNE MORKEL. Your footprint has been left on our Cricket pitches and in our hearts and we will always remember you.
One of your biggest fans
Dhashnie Pillay xoxo