Morne Morkel has quit as Pakistan’s fast-bowling coach a month before his contract was to expire.
In a short statement on Monday, the PCB announced that Morkel had resigned after Pakistan formally exited the ODI World Cup, and that a replacement would be announced “in due course”. No reason was provided for the development.
Morkel was appointed in June this year as part of a reshuffle of the coaching staff, which saw Mickey Arthur return as team director. Morkel’s first assignment with the team was in Sri Lanka in July for a two-match Test series, which Pakistan won 2-0. It was followed by a clean sweep of Afghanistan in a series of three ODIs, played in Sri Lanka, before a disappointing Asia Cup campaign where Pakistan failed to qualify for the final, with injuries to Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah affecting the fast-bowling department. Naseem was later ruled out of the World Cup as well because of the shoulder injury.
At the World Cup, Pakistan began with two wins but lost steam quickly, losing four consecutive matches for the first time in their World Cup history, and finishing with a limp defeat to England that officially confirmed their exit. They finished fifth for the second consecutive World Cup, winning four games and losing five.
The best period with respect to Morkel’s role came during the series against Afghanistan and the early part of the Asia Cup, where he was in charge of three of the best and most in-form fast bowlers in the world. Shaheen Afridi, Naseem and Haris were all at the top of their game, combining to form a formidable three-man attack, memorably showcasing their potential in an ultimately washed-out game against India where they took all ten wickets after ripping through the Indian top order.
It was presumed that Morkel, who is now an Australian citizen, might continue for Pakistan’s next assignment – an away tour of Australia for three Test matches in December and January – but that has changed now.