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IPL desk in Mumbai 18 April 2012 - 11:11pm IST

CSK lose Morkel for two matches

South African all-rounder returns home to mourn close friend’s death

The already struggling Chennai Super Kings have been dealt a huge blow as their star South African all-rounder Albie Morkel has gone home. Morkel has left IPL 2012 midway in mourning of the death of his dear friend Louis Vorster and will miss CSK's next two matches at home, against Pune Warriors India and Rajasthan Royals

Vorster, a former Namibia and South African domestic player, was shot dead in an armed robbery. CSK coach Stephen Fleming announced to the media about Morkel’s departure.

“Just for your information, Albie Morkel has travelled back to South Africa first thing this morning after hearing of the death of a very close friend at Johannesburg overnight,” Fleming said. “He goes with our best wishes and sympathies.”

Upon being asked if and when Morkel will rejoin the team, Fleming said, “He will take further part in the IPL, but when that is, we are not sure. We at CSK, we extend our sympathies to Albie, and obviously, wish him and look forward to getting him back.”

Morkel has been a key member for the defending champions owing to his all-round skills. He played a crucial role in finishing the unlikely win for the home team when they were chasing a mammoth 206 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at home.

Fleming admitted the team will miss him, but he also chose to look at the positive side of things. “Doug Bollinger has come after two months of not playing cricket. We put him under pressure to try and deliver in the first few games, which is a tough ask. So we took a decision to give him five-six days to get more bowling. And he’s been excellent this week. So Doug comes back into contention. And that’s maybe how we will make the swap with Albie,” the coach said.

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