Morné Morkel. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Morné Morkel. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Morné Morkel has pledged his future to the Proteas for the next "few years" but coach Ottis Gibson cannot guarantee the 33-year old fast bowler a place in the 2019 World Cup squad.

Morkel‚ who has played in 79 Tests‚ 112 ODIs and 44 T20s for the Proteas over 11 years‚ said in September that he needed clarity from Gibson on his short-and long-term future because age was not on his side.

"Yes‚ I have had discussions with him [Morkel] and he is fully committed to the Proteas over the next couple of years‚" Gibson said. "Obviously the World Cup is a big thing but we can’t run away from the fact that there cannot be any guarantees with regards to that."

Morkel broke down with a side strain on the fourth day of the first Test against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom in early October and Gibson said selection for the World Cup in England would depend largely on fitness.

"It will be about form‚ fitness and conditions that we are going to find in England‚" he said.

"But we have had an honest discussion and he has committed his future to us for the next few years."

When he was injured‚ Morkel joined fellow fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander as well as all-rounder Chris Morris on the injury list. But they are likely to be available for the start of the Cricket SA T20 Challenge in two weeks.

Gibson said Steyn would play in the four-day Test against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth in December if his injury did not recur during the T20 Challenge.

"He has a lot of T20 cricket to play and we have a lot of time to manage his workload to ensure that he is 100% fit.

"It is Dale Steyn we are talking about‚ not some average guy from down the road … one of the best fast bowlers this country has ever produced."

Gibson‚ who is returning to England for a few weeks on Wednesday‚ said he had enjoyed working on his first assignment as Proteas head coach in which they whitewashed Bangladesh in the Tests‚ ODIs and T20s.

"It has gone very well and we played good cricket.

"There is a lot that was said about the opposition but we played dominant cricket.

"Over the course of the past five weeks we also used some new talent in Aiden Markram in the Test and ODI series‚ and Wiaan Mulder‚ which has been pleasing."


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