Morris makes welcome return for SA
After six months on the sidelines the big-hitting Titans all-rounder is raring to have a go against visiting Sri Lanka
CMorris, has a penchant for “misplacing” important things, like when he arrived in the UK for the ICC Champions Trophy without any shoes or lost his passport days before he flew out to join the IPL for the first time.
Those who know him convince themselves that it’s all part of the “Morris charm”.
However, having to put up with this degree of negligence, for the best part of six months on a daily basis, will test even the most patient of souls.
Morris’ family would have HRIS breathed a sigh of relief then that he was at least allowed out on the golf course while he was recovering from a long-term knee injury that kept him out of competitive cricket since last July.
“I played a lot of golf. That was my first question to our physio: ‘Can I play golf ?’ and he said: ‘If an 80-year-old can play golf, then I think you can play golf’. “That was my saving grace – it kept the handeye co-ordination intact,” Morris. “But I think the wonderful thing about the game is that it finds a way for you to miss it. I can confidently say that after about six weeks I was missing the game horribly.”
Morris’ effervescent personality would certainly have been pushing him hard on the inside to return sooner than he actually did. But the 29-yearold was in severe pain, often causing him to wake up during the night in a cold sweat. It saw him play his first competitive match only a fortnight ago when the Titans faced the Highveld Lions in a Sunfoil Series clash.
Morris didn’t set the world alight, scoring 39 and claiming five wickets in that game, but more importantly he had emerged pain free from the four-day fixture.
“I bowled 40 overs, welcome back Morris,” the all-rounder chirped.
The fact that Morris got through such a workload in his comeback match was enough to convince the national selectors that he was ready for an international recall and was immediately included in the ODI squad for the Sri Lankan series that gets underway in Port Elizabeth tomorrow.
This will certainly be an important series in Morris’ road to full recovery. While he was becoming better acquainted with the Highveld’s finest fairways during his recovery, there were a couple of young all-rounders impressively filling the breach.
Former Lions teammate Dwaine Pretorius put in a couple of solid performances, while Dolphins starlet Andile Phehlukwayo was outstanding during the 5-0 whitewash of Australia last year.
Throw the enigmatic Wayne Parnell into the mix and suddenly an area that South Africa were ailing in, after Jacques Kallis’ retirement, has become a strength again.
Coach Russell Domingo has already publically emphasised that the upcoming series against the Sri Lankans and the subsequent New Zealand ODI series will have a huge bearing on which all-rounders the Proteas take to the ICC Champions Trophy in England later this year.
Selection for the global showpiece would be extra special for Morris as his international career would have come full circle after making his ODI debut in the same tournament four years.
“It will be nice to be in the Champions Trophy squad, but if it’s not my time, it’s not my time,” Morris said philosophically. “I just want to play cricket. If I’m not selected for the Proteas, I will play for the Titans.”
In Morris’ own words “there has been a lot noise around Kolpaks” but he is not entertaining thoughts of an English county career.
“There has been a lot of noise about Kolpak everywhere. I don’t think it’s just hampered me, I think it’s hampered a few people. I had a good sit down with our coach, Mark Boucher, in terms of the Kolpak situation. There weren’t any offers on the table, just a lot of noise around it,” Morris explained.
“I’ve committed to CSA. I’ve told the selectors that I want to play cricket for my country.”