Cape Town - All-rounder Albie Morkel will captain the Titans in limited-overs cricket next season, but has made himself unavailable for the longer format.
The Titans on Wednesday announced that Morkel had informed them that he won’t be available for first-class selection in 2016/2017.
The 35-year-old has struck 4 117 first-class runs at an average of 44.26 and captured 203 wickets in his career.
Morkel says he wants to give more opportunities to younger players and also does not want to be away from his family for six days.
He also says he doesn’t enjoy the four-day arena as much nowadays.
However in the shortened form, Morkel demands high standards of himself, and won’t allow himself to become a passenger in the team with a captain’s armband.
If his performances are below-par, he will stand down.
The past two seasons, the left-handed batsman and right-arm medium-fast swing bowler has been in prolific form.
He averaged 93.33 in the One Day Cup competition in 2014/2015, and won the title in tandem with Dean Elgar when both struck centuries at PPC Newlands against the Cape Cobras.
In the 2015/2016-competition, he featured at the top of the list of bowling averages for the Titans in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge with 10 scalps, while his batting average was 39.60, just below that of the leading batsman, Quinton de Kock, who blasted 437 runs.
Morkel shaded De Kock and Mangaliso Mosehle for the T20 Challenge player of the year at the Titans in April 2016.
He also nipped out 3-12 in his 50th T20-game for South Africa in 2015.
Although Morkel doesn’t rule out a return to the South African team, his focus is primarily on taking the Titans to more limited-overs silver ware.
“I think the environment at the Titans is so healthy that it produces good performances. Look at the players who joined us from the Lions last season. They both hit top-form,” he told the Titans’ official website.
The fact that the Titans finished at the bottom of the log in the One Day Cup competition last season doesn’t occupy much head space. Differently stated, Morkel is not overly bothered by it.
“We did not train differently to what we usually do.
“But we just lacked continuity and we were not settled as a team. In two games, we lost nine players who were simultaneously selected for South Africa ‘A’ and South Africa,” he added.
The Titans won’t accept any cheap excuses for their performance in the domestic 50-over format, but lady luck did desert them at a critical stage.
In the match against the Warriors in East London in the 2015/2016-season, they lost both Morkel and Heino Kuhn through injury and those two stalwarts were subsequently sidelined for a significant period, which dented the Titans’ title-chances.