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CSA offers contract to IPL hit Morkel

Lauding Albie Morkel's "stand-out" performance in the IPL, Cricket South Africa hands the lanky all-rounder a national contract.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Durban
UPDATED ON MAY 29, 2008 10:42 AM IST

Lauding Albie Morkel's "stand-out" performance in the Indian Premier League, Cricket South Africa has handed the lanky all-rounder a national contract that takes effect from next month.

Morkel joins fellow all-rounder Robin Peterson and batsman Neil McKenzie as the three new players awarded contracts by the national cricket body.

"His record earned him a contract with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and he has been a stand-out player in getting them through to the semi-finals," Cricket South Africa CEO Gerald Majola said in a statement.

"His improving value to the Proteas is illustrated by his batting strike rate of 154.34 (213 runs at an average of 35.50) an d his bowling economy rate of 8.61 (11 wickets at 28.18) in this competition," he added.

The latest contracts bring the number of contracted players under Cricket South Africa to 18.

"After close examination of the talent available and the needs of the Proteas, it was felt that Neil, Albie and Robin would fill the identified gaps and should be drawn in as contracted players," Majola said.

"We are confident that they will add much value as CSA contracted players, and we look forward to the Proteas providing another highly successful season," he added.

McKenzie, coming into the team in the second half of the season for Tests against the West Indies, Bangladesh and India, finished top of the batting averages (621 runs at 77.62) with two big centuries against Bangladesh and India.

He also featured in the world record first wicket partnership of 415 with skipper Graeme Smith.

Peterson played in the Test series against Bangladesh and took his first five-wicket haul at this level and six wickets in the second Test overall.

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