South African all-rounder Albie Morkel on Wednesday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, bringing an end to an illustrious career spanning two decades with immediate effect.
"Time has run out for me on the cricket field, and I would like to announce my retirement from the game. The last 20 years of my life took me on an incredible journey, with so many awesome memories that I will cherish forever," the 37-year-old said in a Cricket South Africa (CSA) statement.
"I want to say a big thanks to Cricket South Africa, because it was a huge honour to represent my country. Thank you to my family, friends, supporters and sponsors who were there for me through thick and thin, and most importantly my wife who played an unbelievable supporting role, allowing me to do what I love."
"Professional sport can be a ruthless space to operate in, and it's impossible to do it without a solid support system. Thank you so much," he added.
Morkel made his first-class debut for Easterns against Northerns in the 1999-2000 domestic season before earning a call-up into the South African ODI set-up for the series against New Zealand in 2004.
Morkel blasted his highest individual score of 97 in the 50-over format versus Zimbabwe in 2007. He played a total of 58 ODIs, scoring 782 runs besides taking 50 wickets. He also played in a solitary Test against Australia in Cape Town in 2009.
However, it was in the T20 format where Morkel made a name for himself, finishing with 4247 runs and 247 wickets. He was also a part of the IPL's premier side Chennai Super Kings, taking 85 scalps and scoring 974 runs.
Morkel also snared 26 scalps and accumulated 572 runs in T20Is for his country.