Chris Morris, who last represented South Africa in 2019, revealed that the national selectors have not approached him regarding a potential comeback and added that, in 2019, he made a decision to focus on franchise cricket. Morris revealed that he was overlooked because of ‘not being a specialist’.
Chris Morris currently stands as the single hottest property in franchise cricket, and the same was evident when, in the recently-concluded IPL auction, the Rajasthan Royals purchased him for a record fee of INR 16.25 crore. However, despite setting T20 leagues across the globe ablaze, the right-armer, bizarrely, has not been a regular in the South African set-up. Morris’ last appearance for the Proteas came in the 2019 World Cup and he last played a T20 cricket donning the green jersey almost two years ago, versus Sri Lanka in Johannesburg.
Currently representing the Titans in the CSA T20 challenge, the 33-year-old revealed that for two years now, he’s had no conversations with the national selectors regarding a potential comeback, and also added that he decided to ‘move on’ and play franchise cricket around the world after agreeing with the selectors that he does fit the bill of being the next Jacques Kallis.
"That's a difficult question," Morris said when asked about making a potential comeback to the national side.
"I will have to have that conversation when it happens. There's a lot of chat saying if someone comes (to ask me). No one has come. For now, I am focused on playing for the Titans, that's my first port of call.
"That allrounder spot has been spoken about for a while now since the king (Jacques Kallis) retired. It's a difficult position to fill. The conversation then was that I am going to move on and that was the end of it. That was a while ago, the last time I had a conversation about that. My last conversation was just before the World Cup with (former national coach) Ottis (Gibson). That's where the decision was made for me to go and play leagues around the world and to follow what I feel is best for me as a cricketer and best for me in my career.”
Morris, who is widely regarded as one of the best T20 bowlers going around in the world, has been sought after by franchises purely for his ability to wreak havoc with the ball, but the 33-year-old claimed that the Proteas viewed him more as an all-rounder, and not just a bowler. He insisted that owing to the same, it was hard for him to fit into the national side.
"It's a difficult one because I am in-between the batters and the bowlers. We've got the world's best batters and the world's best bowlers and when you've got guys that can fill in a position in the team and you can mix and match for certain conditions, it's quite easy to swap the guys around."
Despite playing no professional games of cricket post the IPL 2020, the right-arm quick was snapped up by Rajasthan Royals for a record fee, and the 33-year-old revealed that he was left surprised by his own price tag. The former RCB man, however, admitted that there will always be added pressure to perform in the IPL - not necessarily because of the price tag, but because of the tournament’s popularity.
"That came as a very big surprise (The RR bid). I was never expecting it. I had a conversation with (Knights coach) Allan Donald the day before and I said to him I'm just happy to get a gig. I just want to be playing.
"There is a bit of added pressure. I've just got to do what I've been doing and hopefully stay on the field for all the games. The IPL is probably as stressful as international cricket because you've got the eyes of the world watching you. You need to perform. It doesn't matter what your pay cheque gets you, you are under pressure to perform."