The Proteas’ dangerously thin fast bowling stocks are in danger plummeting further as uncertainty over Morne Morkel’s international career continues.
New national coach Ottis Gibson admitted at the conclusion of South Africa’s comprehensive Test series win over Bangladesh that he still hasn’t given the lanky veteran an indication of where he fits in 2019’s World Cup plans.
“I absolutely didn’t tell him anything about the World Cup because it’s still so far away,” said the former West Indian fast bowler.
“I’d encourage him to keep enjoying his cricket, which he’s been doing before he got injured.”
However, that simply might not prove enough.
Last month, Morkel pertinently suggested he’d consider his options if he doesn’t get clarity on his role in one-day cricket.
“I need to look at my options, but the most important thing is that there’s communication from the top,” he said at the time.
“So one of my chats with Ottis is going to have to be about where I fit in when it comes to white-ball cricket. I will ask him what his plans are for 2019. I only have a one-year contract so I need to weigh that up as well.”
After being made aware of the comment, Gibson was initially on the defensive.
“Was that a suggestion from him or you guys?”
Once he was politely informed Morkel said so himself, the Proteas mentor replied: “Ok, well, that’s not my understanding.”
South Africa’s fast bowling depth has been in the spotlight during the Bangladesh tour, especially with all of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morkel being sidelined.
Captain Faf du Plessis had admitted after the victory in the second Test in Bloemfontein that there still exists a gap in class between the trio, Kagiso Rabada and the rest.
Meanwhile, Gibson insists his search for a management team is progressing as planned.
“Hopefully by the end of the series the situation will be a lot clearer. The guys that are here are doing a fantastic job, we’re still having discussions with Cricket South Africa as well as the other people and coaches around the country,” he said.
All of his predecessor Russell Domingo’s staff have been retained till the end of the Bangladesh tour.