Chris Morris will get his chance to impress Proteas coach Ottis Gibson for the first time in a while when he features for the Titans in a new T20 international tournament in Abu Dhabi next month.
The three-day event will take place at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium from October 4-6.
Australia’s Hobart Hurricanes, Yorkshire Vikings of England, Afghanistan’s Boost Defenders, Pakistan’s Lahore Qalandars and a UAE all-star side will also participate in the inaugural tournament.
All-rounder Morris was left out of the Proteas ODI and T20 squads for the upcoming series with Zimbabwe as he continues his comeback from a back injury he sustained in the IPL.
That setback saw him miss out on the South African tour of Sri Lanka. And with the 2019 World Cup on the horizon, Morris knows he needs to make a play soon to get into the national mix.
“It sounds like a cliché, but I know that I have to do well for my franchise in order to get into that conversation. It starts here,” Morris told the Titans website recently.
“Show me a cricketer who doesn’t know about the World Cup! Of course it has been on my mind.
“I can’t wait. Can’t wait! I’m excited for what is to come, and I am looking forward to a big season with the Titans. I just have to do my best with the Titans, then the rest will follow.”
Titans coach Mark Boucher, as usual, will have a powerful squad to call on, despite missing first-choice Proteas.
Veteran Albie Morkel will captain a side that includes national players such as Farhaan Behardien, Dean Elgar and Theunis de Bruyn alongside young talents like Tony de Zorzi, Rivaldo Moonsamy and new fast bowler Tshepo Moreki, who moved from the Cape Cobras.
“The key is to give the youngsters the opportunity – but you don’t give youngsters opportunities with other youngsters. You give them a lot of seniority and guidance as well,” Boucher said in a statement on Friday.
“To have guys like Chris, Farhaan, and Albie, who have played international competitions around the world and have been successful as well in the teams they’ve been involved in, is huge for the side.
“To have a couple of the youngsters on tour for the first time abroad and to have these seniors in the team will put them in good stead for the future. They’ll learn a lot about themselves as cricketers and as individuals in a team environment.
“Hopefully they come back looking at the game of cricket in a different way and hopefully they can take it from strength to strength as the season progresses.”
Titans T20 Squad
Albie Morkel (captain), Andrea Agathagelou, Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Tony de Zorzi, Eldred Hawken, Gregory Mahlokwana, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Tshepo Moreki, Chris Morris, Alfred Mothoa, Shaun von Berg.