HE hasn’t played a match for five weeks but new Perth Scorchers import Morne Morkel has a secret weapon ahead of his BBL debut – armchair study.
Morkel will replace departing import Chris Jordan in time for the Scorchers’ last regular season match against the Thunder in Sydney on Sunday.
Jordan’s last match will be against Adelaide Strikers at Optus Stadium on Friday night before he links up with England’s international squad.
Morkel has vast experience on the international stage, having played 44 T20s, 117 ODIs, and 86 Tests for South Africa.
But the 35-year-old paceman will enter the BBL well short of match fitness given his last game was on December 16 in South Africa’s domestic T20 league.
However, he will be well versed on the players he will be coming up against after spending the past month watching BBL games on the TV in South Africa.
“I’ve watched almost every game, so I know more or less what I’m going to be up against,” Morkel said.
“I’ve played a lot of cricket here, I know the wickets. I think the size of the square boundaries is going to play into my favour.
“There are a lot of things and positives I can tap into to help me. It’s just a matter of backing myself, trusting my skills and executing.”
Morkel dusted off the cobwebs with a net session at the WACA Ground on Wednesday, but he is yet to meet his new teammates face to face.
“Only on the WhatsApp group,” Morkel said.
“They’ve got a couple of days off – a well deserved rest – and then training tomorrow, so I’ll be meeting them tomorrow.”
Morkel hopes it won’t take long to get himself up to speed despite his recent five-week break.
“From a cricket and skills point of view I’m a little bit behind. I would have liked a bit more game time,” Morkel said.
“But I’ve been keeping fit. I’ve been getting myself ready for the English season starting in April, so I’ve been doing a lot of fitness stuff.”
The Scorchers sit in fourth spot on the table, and will probably need to win at least one of their final two games to secure a finals berth.