No-ball King

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July 14, 2017
No-ball King

LINE-STEPPER: Morne Morkel

Morkel keen to cut out over-stepping.

Morne Morkel is the best no-ball bowler in the world.

The South African speedster holds the record for the most wickets taken when over-stepping the bowler’s mark.

Morkel clean bowled England’s Ben Stokes in the first Test at Lord’s last week – a match the Proteas lost by 211 runs – to take his no-ball wicket tally to 13.

And with the second Test starting at Trent Bridge today, the 32-year-old is keen on not extending his record.

Of that Stokes delivery, Morkel says: “It’s not the first no-ball I’ve bowled in my life.

“It’s not going to end my career.

“It’s 13, yes – world record.

“Somebody needs to hold it. It’s 13 wickets I’d like to have in the bank, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

He adds: “It’s part of the game. [England] also bowled a couple of no-balls that could have easily taken a wicket.

“It’s not acceptable – it’s a controllable sort of thing.

“I can’t make excuses.

“I need a lot of rhythm and timing for me is crucial, and I felt the more I bowled in that Test, the better my timing was.

“Unfortunately I did bowl that no-ball, and that’s the sort of thing you don’t want, to give quality players extra lives… you’re going to get punished.

“The only thing I can do is keep on working on getting that foot behind the line.

“I think it’s just a rush of blood to the head, wanting to create something with the older ball.”

Morkel will have additional responsibility after fellow paceman Kagiso Rabada was banned from the second Test as a result of swearing at Stokes at Lord’s and is up for the task.

He adds: “Obviously we’re going to miss ‘KG’ – an ability to bowl long spells fast, with a lot of energy, of course we’re going to miss that.

“You can’t lie about that… but it’s an opportunity for another guy to step into his place and put his hand up.

“We just need to put whatever happened in the last Test behind us, with KG, with everything, and just focus on [today].”

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