Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Morkel scores a world record no one wants

Morné Morkel is disappointed but philosophical about holding the unwanted world record for most Test wickets overturned by no-balls.

His record of taking wickets off no-balls keeps increasing. In this year’s first Test against England he took his tally to 13 in the act of overstepping when he bowled Ben Stokes. Morkel’s performance was certainly one of the factors that contributed to South Africa’s 211-run defeat by England at Lord’s.

With the Proteas looking to level the four-match series in the second Test at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge, Morkel said of the Stokes “wicket”: “It’s not the first no-ball I’ve bowled in my life.

“It’s not going to end my career,” the 32-year-old told reporters. “It’s 13, yes — world record. Somebody needs to hold it. It’s 13 wickets I’d like to have in the bank, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Morkel, a veteran of 75 Tests, added: “It’s part of the game. [England] also bowled a couple of no-balls that could have easily taken a wicket.”

But Dean Elgar, who skippered the Proteas at Lord’s and will hand over to Faf du Plessis in Nottingham, described some of South Africa’s mistakes, including dropped catches and no-balls, in the first Test as “non-negotiables”.

Morkel said: “It’s not acceptable — it’s a controllable sort of thing. “I can’t make excuses.

“I need a lot of rhythm, and timing for me is crucial, and I felt the more I bowled in that Test the better my timing was. Unfortunately, I did bowl that no-ball, and that’s the sort of thing you don’t want, to give quality players extra lives … you’re going to get punished.

“The only thing I can do is keep on working on getting that foot behind the line. I think it’s just a rush of blood to the head, wanting to create something with the older ball.”

Morkel will have additional responsibility after fellow paceman Kagiso Rabada was banned from the second Test as a result of swearing at Stokes at Lord’s.

“Obviously, we’re going to miss KG — an ability to bowl long
spells fast, with a lot of energy,” said Morkel. “But it’s an opportunity
for another guy to step into his place.

“We just need to put whatever happened in the last Test behind us, with KG, with everything, and just focus on Friday.”

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

South Africa’s mothballed ‘supermall-ification’ sets strip malls up for success

Analysts agree that the country has enough malls and that, post-Covid, the convenience of local centres lure customers

Mabuza’s Russian jaunts and the slippery consequences of medical tourism

For more than five years the deputy president has remained steadfast in his right to travel abroad to receive medical treatment

More top stories

Deputy president Mabuza begs Tshwane voters: ‘Don’t abandon the ANC’

Angry Atteridgeville residents hurl insults at ‘dysfunctional’ ANC full of ‘corrupt individuals’ as Mabuza fails to placate them with party T-shirts and doeks

Taxi operators clash with cops over disputed Route B97 in...

Three suspects remain in custody following their arrest on charges of attempted murder and assault after eight taxis were impounded

SA teens, you’re next in the queue for a vaccine...

Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to register to receive their Covid-19 jab from 20 October. This group will be given only one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, for now

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell dies aged 84

The 84-year-old died as a result of complications from Covid-19

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…