JOHANNESBURG - Ottis Gibson has stressed to Morne Morkel to enjoy his cricket this summer and not focus too much on the 2019 World Cup following brief talks with the lanky fast bowler.
Morkel and AB de Villiers had said they wanted to talk with the new coach about their respective futures, and while De Villiers has yet to have his, Morkel’s initial chats with Gibson appear to have given no further clarity about his future.
Morkel, who turned 33 last week, has said in recent interviews he may seek options in various franchise T20 Leagues if he is no longer part of the coach’s plans for the SA limited overs side. It is understood that a few English county clubs have also put contracts on the table.
“I absolutely didn’t tell him anything about the World Cup because it’s still so far away. I’d encourage him to keep enjoying his cricket, which he’s been doing before he got injured,” Gibson said at the end of the second Test against Bangladesh.
Morkel has on a couple of occasions recently said he needs to know whether he is still apart of plans for the next World Cup. “I need to look at my options, but the most important thing is that there’s communication from the top, knowing where you stand is the main thing. As a fast bowler, your career span is only so long ,” Morkel said in an interview before the Bangladesh series.
“I will ask him what his plans are for 2019, does he intend to rebuild? If Dale Steyn comes back, do I miss out? When will he start trying to get young blood in the team? I can’t afford to sit on the sidelines for the next two years and not play,” added Morkel, who’s still got a year to run on his national contract.
De Villiers had said in England he wanted to hold talks with the new coach, but the exact nature of those talks was not spelled out at the time.
“I’ve had a few conversations with him. He’s obviously playing this weekend and will be playing on the 12th as well. We haven’t really had a face-to-face yet but that will happen,” said Gibson.
De Villiers was included in an SA Invitation side to face Bangladesh in a 50-over warm-up game that will be played at the Mangaung Oval on Thursday. He is also in the ODI squad for a three match series against the Bangladeshis that starts on Sunday in Kimberley.