Morne Morkel set to join NZ Women’s coaching staff for T20 WC

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New Zealand have roped in former Proteas pacer Morne Morkel to be a part of the backroom staff during the upcoming Women’s T20 WC in South Africa, starting February 10.

Morkel was recently a part of the Namibia coaching staff for the 2022 Men’s T20 WC in Australia and will now join New Zealand women’s side as ‘tour coach’, offering fast bowling and general coaching support during the marquee tournament. Currently the bowling coach of the Durban Super Giants in the inaugural SA20 league, Morkel will link up with the White Ferns squad ahead of the opening group game against Australia,

Morkel said given the rapid growth of the game, he is relishing the opportunity to experience coaching in the women’s game.

“The opportunity to join the White Ferns group and get involved in the women’s game was a no-brainer for me,” said Morkel. “The women’s game is growing so rapidly around the world, and this a great opportunity for me to build experience in the women’s game and share my knowledge of international cricket to help this team get better.

“I’ve been following the women’s game and the White Ferns closely over the last couple of years, especially since moving to Australia and seeing their players who have played in the Women’s Big Bash [League]. It’s a talented group of players and they have a very exciting pace bowling attack which I’ll be able to support Ben [Sawyer, head coach] with,” he added.

“I know a lot about the South African conditions and have spent a lot of time working here in the past year, so that’s some important knowledge that I’ll be able to share with this group during the tournament.”

Morkel played 86 Tests, 117 ODIs and 44 T20Is for South Africa between 2006 and 2018, taking 544 wickets.The pacer featured in eight World Cups for the country and also played in T20 leagues globally, including the IPL, T20 Blast and the Big Bash League.

Sawyer welcomed Morkel and said his local knowledge of the conditions will make him a valuable asset for his group in the World Cup.

“Morne had an outstanding international record as a player, and his first-hand experience in major international tournaments, coupled with his knowledge of the conditions in South Africa, will make him a huge asset,” Sawyer said.

“He was one of the best in the world as a player, so it will be a fantastic opportunity for our pace bowling group in particular to learn and develop alongside one of the very best.

“It’s also a great nod for women’s cricket and the White Ferns, that an individual with credentials such as Morne wants to be involved, and highlights NZC’s commitment to developing the women’s game.

New Zealand are due to name the World Cup squad on Friday (January 20) before departing for South Africa on the following Monday (January 23).

After their opener against the reigning champions on February 11*, New Zealand will next take on hosts South Africa (February 13*), Bangladesh (February 17*) and Sri Lanka (February 19*) in their remaining group fixtures.

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