Chris Morris: Biltong goes pretty well with pot roast
This week he joined the SA World Cup squad, and now Hampshire have nabbed him for county T20 tourney
This time last week Chris Morris was minding his own business, which was playing for Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
He had a lot more business to mind on Monday, when he was catapulted into SA’s World Cup squad after Anrich Nortjé broke his thumb in the nets in Port Elizabeth.
Two days later Morris’s business took another leap forward when Hampshire announced they had signed him for the county T20 competition, which will follow the World Cup.
And they say a week is a long time in politics. They should try a week in cricket.
The really good news is it couldn’t happen to a nicer fella. Morris is in love with the world and his place in it, a truth that is plain to anyone who spends a minute or more in his cheerful, wisecracking company. The man is a joy to be around, which isn’t always the case in the age of the overpaid, underdeveloped sports star.
Morris’ sunny-side-up disposition has always been with him, and there was no chance of that changing when, in 2013, he fetched $625,000 at the IPL auction, which went up to $1m the year after that.
Morris used some of the cash to upgrade from his beloved Citi Golf, and to ensure his parents no longer had to pay a mortgage. See: nice. And a decent acquisition for any team.
“He’s a dynamic batsman in the middle order and a handful with the ball both up front and at the death, so he’s a great fit for us and hopefully he’ll make a big difference this summer,” Hampshire quoted their director of cricket, Giles White, as saying.
If that sounds familiar it might be because White also went on the record in March when the county signed Aiden Markram as an overseas player for the first month of the season.
In fact, you might wonder how much biltong is being eaten in the Rose Bowl dressing room. Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw are Kolpak players there, while Gareth Berg – a Cape Town-born journeyman allrounder who has played 15 T20s for Italy – is also around.
Put them all on the field together and that’s half-a-player short of exactly half the side comprised entirely of Saffers.
That’s not, of course, news in either England or SA. Players from our country and a host of others have long since taken up contracts with English outfits of various levels. But it does tell South Africans that players such as Morris are marketable in the game’s global economy, and deservedly so.Because he has snuck into the World Cup by the back door doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve respect at home. And we shouldn’t be surprised if he arrives in Southampton with a Venter trailer-load of biltong. He is, as we know by now, a good businessman.