Marcus Hook’s Surrey CCC column: Morne Morkel the latest injury setback – with Ollie Pope’s absence a huge blow

BY MARCUS HOOK

Injuries continue to blight Surrey, who, at the time of writing, are one of only two teams yet to record a victory in 2020 (Durham being the other).

The latest blow to the Oval outfit is the news that the ankle injury Morne Morkel sustained in the warm-up prior to the Bob Willis Trophy fixture against Kent puts the South African out for the rest of the campaign.

With all Kolpak registrations being cancelled at the end of the year, due to Brexit, the 35-year-old fast bowler may well have played his last game in county cricket. While his 107 first-class wickets at 21.44 runs apiece will be missed, Morkel isn’t getting any younger. Also, Surrey’s lack of runs is a major headache.

The loss of Ollie Pope for the next four months – while he undergoes further shoulder surgery – is a massive blow. The runs Pope could have brought to Surrey – he averages 55 in f-c cricket – had been some light at the end of the tunnel.

Nevertheless, a top three in the Blast of Will Jacks, Hashim Amla and Laurie Evans is pretty daunting on paper if, not as yet, on grass.

With both Currans in the England’s white-ball squads for the series against the Aussies, a lack of experience is Surrey’s biggest concern with the ball – that and a sense that the side is picking itself on the basis of who is fit.

Jade Dernbach, Surrey’s T20 captain, remains sidelined with a groin injury, as do all-rounders Jordan Clark (foot and ankle), Rikki Clarke (hip) and Liam Plunkett (hamstring).

But there was some good news this week – Surrey finally got the go-ahead to allow spectators into the Oval, with 2,500 members snapping up the tickets available for last night’s T20 clash with Hampshire.

Main Pic: Ollie Pope


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