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Morkel to make his contribution count

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Proteas all-rounder Albie Morkel admits he never lost hope of returning to the international fold and was looking forward to adding more than just his on-field skill to the South Africa squad. Picture: Lee Warren / Gallo Images

Durban - Proteas all-rounder Albie Morkel admits he never lost hope of returning to the international fold and was looking forward to adding more than just his on-field skill to the South Africa squad.

The 32-year-old, recalled to the team for the ongoing Twenty20 series against Australia and forthcoming World T20 in Bangladesh, arrived in a wet Durban on Monday ahead of the second match of the series at Kingsmead on Wednesday.

The first game was abandoned on Sunday due to rain in Port Elizabeth meaning Morkel's return after 18 months in the cold was slightly delayed.

“As a professional sportsman you always want to think that (you can get back in),” he told reporters in Umhlanga.

“That's the reason you play, you always try to get better.

“I never retired from international cricket, I think the decision was made a year-and-a-half ago by the selectors that they want to build for the World Cup.”

Morkel said he hoped to just enjoy his return to the national fold and he was not out to prove anyone wrong.

The Proteas are scheduled to play in group-one, alongside England, New Zealand, a qualifier and Sri Lanka, who they open their account against in Chittagong on March 22.

It will be his fifth tournament and he is hoping to make a difference.

“If you asked me a year ago if I would be in the team, the answer would be probably not,” he said.

“But after a good domestic season in South Africa where things went well for me on a personal note.

“I'm very happy to be back and looking forward to hopefully making a contribution to the side, on and off the field.”

He said he believed his experience playing in the sub-continent in the Indian Premier League would hold him in good stead for the global showpiece.

“Bangladesh is not too much different from playing in India,” he said.

“So hopefully I can contribute not just in playing, but in planning too with playing under that pressure and in those conditions.”

Morkel, the second highest six hitter behind David Miller in this season's domestic T20 Challenge with 16, last featured for the Proteas in the 2012 World T20 when they were dumped out in the group stages.

He believed South Africa were better equipped this time around as they bid to win a first ever ICC crown.

“We had a pretty strong side going to the last World Cup and the only difference this time is we have a few younger guys in and the older ones have more experience,” Morkel said.

“This team has played pretty well over the past 12 months even though I wasn't part of it.

“So there's a general feel in the camp that we can do well.”

Sapa


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