[Australia], Mar 05 (ANI): South African former fast-bowler Morne Morkel could qualify as a local player in the Big Bash League as early as next year, but it is likely that he will still be considered as an import for the 2019-20 season.
Morkel, who has now retired from the international cricket, has said that he is keen to play in the Big Bash and Sheffield Shield having relocated to Sydney with his family.
“Australia is going to be home for me from now on so hopefully we can sort out passports and visas and those sort of things," cricket.com.au quoted Morkel as saying.
“I understand there is a process and I respect that."
“I am open to any possibilities and opportunities that come my way because I am going to base myself in Australia for the next couple of years or however long it may be. Australia’s going to be my home so I am definitely trying to get my foot in the door."
Citizenship appears out of reach in the short term, but he could very well qualify as a local player in time for Big Bash if he is able to secure permanent residency.
Permanent residency is approved as a local if Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association are satisfied that the player is "dedicated to becoming eligible to represent Australia and will not seek or agree to represent any other ICC full member."
The player is keen to continue on playing first-class cricket in Australia next summer where he could join the likes of Englishman Mason Crane and his former Proteas teammate Johan Botha as recent foreign players in the Shield competition.
Morkel called time on his international career after playing 86 Tests, 117 ODI's and 44 T20I's.
The fast-bowler was able to pick up 309 wickets in the Test format, 188 in ODI's and 47 in T20's. (ANI)