Auckland [New Zealand], January 15 (ANI): Former South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel will join the New Zealand coaching staff for next month's ICC Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa.
Morkel, who was part of the Namibia coaching staff for the recent men's T20 World Cup in Australia, will join the White Ferns as Tour Coach where he will provide fast bowling and general coaching support during the tournament.
The former Protea, who will join up with the group ahead of the opening pool match against Australia, said he was relishing the opportunity to experience coaching in the women's game.
"The opportunity to join the White Ferns group and get involved in the women's game was a no-brainer for me. The women's game is growing so rapidly around the world, and this is a great opportunity for me to build experience in the women's game and share my knowledge of international cricket to help this team get better. I've been following the women's game and the White Ferns closely over the last couple of years, especially since moving to Australia and seeing their players who have played in the Women's Big Bash. It's a talented group of players and they have a very exciting pace bowling attack which I'll be able to support Ben with," said Morkel.
Morkel said he was looking forward to joining up with the team for an exciting World Cup campaign.
"I know a lot about the South African conditions and have spent a lot of time working here in the past year, so that's some important knowledge that I'll be able to share with this group during the tournament. Playing in a World Cup is always exciting, so I'm looking forward to sharing that experience with the group and helping them achieve their goals. I'm really looking forward to meeting the group when they arrive in South Africa and getting started," expressed the former fast bowler as read in a statement released by New Zealand cricket.
A three-format international, Morkel played 86 Tests, 117 ODIs and 44 T20s for South Africa between 2006 and 2018, taking 544 wickets.
As a player, he featured in eight World Cups as well as in domestic leagues around the globe, including the Indian Premier League, the Vitality Blast, and the Big Bash.
Alongside his experience with Namibia, Morkel is also the bowling coach for the Durban Super Giants in the new SA20 League leading up to the World Cup.
New Zealand women's head coach Ben Sawyer said Morkel would bring valuable knowledge of the South African conditions to the group.
"We're really excited to have Morne join the group for the World Cup. Morne had an outstanding international record as a player, and his first-hand experience in major international tournaments, coupled with his knowledge of the conditions in South Africa, will make him a huge asset. He was one of the best in the world as a player, so it will be a fantastic opportunity for our pace bowling group in particular to learn and develop alongside one of the very best. It's also a great nod to women's cricket and the WHITE FERNS, that an individual with credentials such as Morne wants to be involved, and highlights NZC's commitment to developing the women's game. We're looking forward to welcoming Morne into the group and supporting him with his coaching development in South Africa," said Sawyer.
The White Ferns will name their squad for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup on Friday, before departing for South Africa on January 23. (ANI)