IPL broke differences between Australian and South African players: Morne Morkel 

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Former Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel has credited the Indian Premier League (IPL) for making relations between South African and Australian players amicable.

Morne Morkel represented Rajasthan Royals (RR), Delhi Capitals (DC) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL. He was part of the KKR squad that won the T20 league under Gautam Gambhir in 2014.

In an interaction on the YouTube channel The Grade Cricketer, the 36-year-old revisited the time he spent with franchises during the IPL. According to Morne Morkel, one of the biggest positives of the IPL was that it improved relations between players from different countries. The tall South African explained:

“There was always a little bit of tension when South Africa played Australia or England, but the IPL broke all those sort of differences that there were. I remember the one year we played Australia at the Wanderers and, after the Test match, we all got into one bus and we were driving back to the hotel. Never in the world back in the day would you see that. It just shows you the quality and the power of the game that can actually unite all of us.”

Incidentally, after having retired from international cricket, Morne Morkel moved to Australia in 2018. In November 2020, after becoming a permanent resident of Australia, he was chosen by Brisbane Heat as a ‘local’ player for that season’s Big Bash League!

Was weird to sit with whiskey in hand at 5 AM: Morne Morkel on IPL after-parties

During the interesting discussion, Morne Morkel also admitted that attending IPL after-parties, which sometimes carried on till the wee hours of the morning, was both bizarre and incredible at the same time. He said:

“IPL honestly is a tough gig. The games finish late and there is always like an after-party or something like a sponsored function you need to attend. As an international player, you are not forced, but you need to show your face. After doing 6-8 weeks of that, when you are playing back-to-back games, doing functions… Some of those after-party functions are underground. So next thing, you look at your watch, it is 5 AM. It feels quite weird to sit with a whiskey in your hand at 5 in the morning, when other people are having breakfast. But, it is an incredible experience to sit in those functions and connect with players across the world.”

Morne Morkel played 70 matches in the IPL and claimed 77 wickets at a strike rate of 21.15 and an economy rate of 7.69.

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