South Africa opening batsman Dean Elgar has said that he was astonished and went in a bit of shock after fast bowler Morne Morkel announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
Morkel recently dropped a bombshell when he announced that he would bid adieu to all forms of international cricket following the conclusion of the four-match Test series against Australia, beginning Thursday in Durban.
Reflecting on the same, Elgar said that the entire South African team was shocked with Morkel's sudden decision to retire from cricket.
"I think my reaction is quite mutual in the team, it was a bit of a shock, You don't expect a guy to be retiring so soon. I know he's been playing professional cricket for 12 years but I'm sure every individual would still feel he has got a lot more to give but be that as it may, we respect his decision," said Elgar, as media reports suggest.
Morkel has appeared in 83 Tests, 117 ODIs and 44 T20 Internationals in a successful career spanning 12 years. The pacer has been a threat ever since he has stepped foot on the field and has successfully intimidated many batsmen with his fiery deliveries, collecting 294 Test wickets with a best figure of 6/23, 188 wickets in One Day Internationals with an impressive personal best of 5/21.
The South African pacer is currently the fifth highest all-time wicket-taker for South Africa in Test matches with 294 scalps, including seven five-wicket hauls. He has an impressive tally of 529 wickets across the three formats of the game.
And Elgar admitted that Morkel had provided South African cricket 12 years of unbelievable professionalism.
"He has provided South African cricket 12 years of unbelievable professionalism in the side and I'm sure the hard work on and off the field has done him a massive credit," he said.
Elgar's comments came ahead of South Africa's opening Test of the four-match series against Australia.