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Highest Wicket Taker Of IPL 2012, Morne Morkel Was Signed By KKR Because Of Gautam Gambhir

Rishikesh Sharma

Highest Wicket Taker Of IPL 2012, Morne Morkel Was Signed By KKR Because Of Gautam Gambhir

Former India batter Gautam Gambhir enjoyed a terrific run as a captain at Kolkata Knight Riders. Used to sit at the auction table frequently, Gambhir usually played a key part in assembling a squad rather than cribbing about it after the auction. Talking to Sportswallah, Gambhir had once revealed the rationale behind signing former South Africa pacer Morne Morkel.

Morkel was not the only signing in which Gambhir played a vital part. Even spinner Sunil Narine was part of KKR at Gambhir’s behest. He, in fact, wanted the owners to go all out for Narine. The rest, as they say, is history. Although Morkel didn’t last as long as Narine, he also played a key role for Kolkata after joining the squad.

Morne Morkel Was Signed By Kolkata Knight Riders Because Of Gautam Gambhir

Gambhir, who mostly comes across too blunt and honest for a celebrity, was once asked about the fiercest bowler he faced throughout his career and his answer was Morkel. For the very same reason, he brought him into the side as he always felt that the extra bounce generated by Morkel would be difficult for the batters in the shortest format.

“Morne Morkel is the fiercest bowler I have ever faced. That’s why we got him in KKR as well. I thought he was the toughest bowler I faced. Even when he was playing for Delhi [Daredevils], every time I faced him, I wish we had him on our team. And the moment he was released, I said Morne Morkel,” Gambhir had told Sportswallah as quoted by CricTracker.

Morkel was a part of Rajasthan Royals for the first three IPL seasons, but he played just four matches in 2009 and 2010. Morkel joined Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) the same year Gambhir was signed by Knight Riders in a record-breaking deal.

If truth be told, Morkel found his groove at DD picking 13 wickets in 11 IPL 2011 matches at an economy rate of 7.56. The following year, he was the highest wicket-taker of IPL 2012 on the back of dismissing 25 batters at an economy of 7.19. Post Delhi released him ahead of IPL 2014 mega auction, Kolkata wasted no time in grabbing his services for INR 2.8 crore.

In what was their second IPL title, Knight Riders lifted the silverware in 2014 with Morkel as the leader of their pace attack. He had picked 12 wickets at an economy of 7.65 that season. Gambhir’s decision to bring him into KKR was certainly a great one. Morkel ended up playing three more seasons (including last one in 2016) for the franchise.

Morne Morkel Is Working With Gautam Gambhir At Lucknow Super Giants

Gambhir, who is currently the Global Mentor of all Super Giants’ teams (owner of Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL), has continued to extend his relation with Morkel in the coaching capacity as well. While Gambhir had first joined LSG before IPL 2022, Morkel was roped in as a bowling coach ahead of IPL 2023.

Under Morkel, the pace department did quite well in the last season of the IPL. The likes of Yash Thakur, Mark Wood, Naveen ul Haq were their highest wicket-takers among pacers.

Lucknow managed to qualify for the playoffs in the second consecutive season this year. Having recently announced their coaching staff for the next season of the biggest T20 league in the world, the franchise has retained Morkel.

About the author

Rishikesh Sharma

Rishikesh Sharma


An engineering graduate and an ardent sports fan, Rishikesh Sharma is covering cricket for three years now after not making peace with a corporate life and has written more than 5000 articles. While Sourav Ganguly made him fall in love with the sport, Brendon McCullum and Gautam Gambhir enhanced it. Apart from cricket, Rishikesh is a huge fan of Liverpool FC. When not watching sports, you will find him riding around Jaipur.

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