An afternoon with Albie
RCB fan and journalist Ikyatha Yerasala in conversation with Albie Morkel
It’s a bright and sunny Thursday afternoon and South African all-rounder Albie Morkel is all set for RCB’s practice session. Before he heads out, we catch up with the Proteas player, who’s enjoying his stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
As he speaks about RCB’s batting so far, he says, “We still have one of the best line ups. I think form played a big role in the beginning. Sometimes, it’s difficult when you have a strong batting lineup like that and there’s always pressure before the game. But as a unit we‘re starting to click. For a few players, I feel that their big innings is just around the corner. Yuvi’s batted so beautifully, AB’s batting well and Kohli is such a good player that you feel that he can explode in any game. We’re still in the game, we’ve had a good win the other night (against DD) and we need to win four more games. The guys know the work cut out for them.”
As a newcomer to team RCB, Albie says that his team mates accepted him really quickly. “There were a couple of new faces in the team who had to start over like me,” says Albie, who likes the city’s climate and calls it ‘lovely.’
The 32-year-old is a doting daddy to his son Albertus Johannes Morkel and daughter Cara Morkel. Albie’s a committed hubby to his wife, the gorgeous Marthmari, who’s also his childhood crush! (Yes, total aww-worthy story that!) He gives his wifey complete credit for being his biggest pillar of strength. “She’s got a taste of both emotions – the good and the bad. Cricketers can be short-tempered at times, but she knows how to handle it and she’s been there with me during my bad times.”
An avid nature lover, Albie loves going into the woods to get a taste of natural beauty. “In South Africa, there’s an area in Timbavati that I’m very familiar with and I love visiting it,” says Albie, who disconnects from gadgets and loves to soak in the delight that the wild has to offer.
What’s up, brother?
When it comes to the bond he shares with his brother Morne Morkel, who’s also a cricketer, he reveals that there’s no envy between the two. “We don’t compete against each other in a bad way nor do we think that he’s achieved more or I have achieved more. Two brothers playing in different IPL teams is something that you don’t see often and it makes for good viewing for people watching the game. If you take the sport out of it, we’re just brothers that get along.”
Learning through experience
A sport always has its share of ups and downs and when things don’t go the right way, tough times can often bog down a player. Dealing with bad times is something that you learn through experience, believes Albie. “It’s important for any youngster growing up, to learn and find a way to leave bad times on the field, leave them behind and focus on the next game. A lot of days, when you walk on the field, you feel you didn’t do as well as you liked, but you have to focus on what’s ahead and not behind you.”
Kepler Wessels, Allan Donald, Jonty Rhodes, Lance Klusener, Hansie Cronje, Shaun Pollock