Roz Kelly Morkel - A Power Woman

  • 23 Sep - 29 Sep, 2017
  • Shaniera Akram
  • Interview

The Gaddafi stadium was in full furor when the World XI played against Pakistan recently. What a week the ardent cricket buffs witnessed after an age! The international cricketers who visited Pakistan for the three-match series have been hailed heroes and will always have a place in the hearts of Pakistanis for contributing in resurrecting their beloved sport. Amongst the heroes was South African cricketer Morne Morkel who is well-known for his career playing test cricket for South Africa.

But you know what they say? Behind every good cricketer, is an exceptional woman? Wait, do they say it or did I just make that statement a philosophy?
Being married to an international cricketer makes a woman whose life is always topsy-turvy, but one lady who I have met along my travels as a cricketer's wife, is Roz Kelly Morkel. We met in Dubai for the IPL and then travelled through India together. Both of us left Australia to follow our heart and instantly the mutual ground we shared sparked a deeper connection. Roz is intelligent, strong, hands on and witty. And the best part is that she probably knows more about cricket than even Morne. Roz is a sports presenter who hosted the Big Bash broadcast on Channel 10 in Australia last summer as if the role was made for her.

Roz, who is an ideal to many women is a freelance journalist, studies holistic health and she is about to launch her own online magazine for mommies. Above all, she recently became a mother. All this whilst juggling the emotional rollercoaster of being a cricketer's wife. Is she a power woman? Here, in an exclusive chat I had with the lady, I would like to introduce you all to meet a dear friend of mine and someone I look up to.

What was it like leaving Australia and moving to South Africa for love?
Roz Kelly Morkel: An adventure! Australia is nicknamed the "lucky country" because it’s relatively young and there's little struggle. It's an incredible lifestyle and I'm so proud to be an Aussie... but sometimes you can fall into the trap of living in a perfect little bubble and perhaps disconnecting from the problems of the world as they are not on your doorstep and in your face every day. South Africa and Morne have taught me so much about compassion and generosity. I worry less now because my problems seem so trivial when I see the daily battles others go through to survive here, such as a woman on the street corner whose only concern is where her family's next meal will come from. Each day I try make a small difference to someone's life.

Your husband recently came to Pakistan for the World XI series. What were your thoughts about Morne coming to Pakistan. Do you think you would like to come next time?
I know how important cricket is to the people of Pakistan and how special the ICC World Cup win was for the country, so I personally feel proud that Morne could be involved in taking the first step in bringing cricket back there. It was incredible to watch the game and see how happy everyone was in the crowd. I love how sport has the power to unite people.

Being a high-profile cricketer's wife, a new mum and a successful TV and sports presenter in Australia, could you describe for our readers what it's like to be a power woman, and how do you juggle these roles?
Like most parents, I'd love a bit more sleep! Our son, Arias, is my priority so everything I do is scheduled around what will be most beneficial and easiest for him. Which means a lot of late night or early morning writings, and a lot of coffee! Career wise, freelance journalism is the perfect fit for my lifestyle now, as it enables me to choose projects which will work best for our family. When I was pregnant, Morne and I made a pact that we would make this nomadic lifestyle as normal as possible for Arias and that means being together as much as possible.

Do you believe marrying an international cricketer and travelling with him has opened your life to meeting new people from all walks of life? Do you believe you have made a few friends for life in the many countries you have travelled?
RKM: The quote "travel is the only thing you spend money on that makes you richer" really resonates with me. This lifestyle has certainly connected me with some remarkable people and other cricketers' wives from all walks of life whom I may not have met otherwise. You, for example Shaneira, even though we are Australian, we may never have met in our motherland but cricket brought us together and I love watching your adventures and am so proud of all the positive work you are doing in Pakistan.

Who is your inspiration?
RKM: One of my best friends, Hayley Talbot, is an ordinary mother of two and this year became the first person to paddle a kayak 400km solo and unsupported down a powerful Australian river, The Clarence, while camping and surviving solely off the land. She has achieved an extraordinary dream because she wanted to show other mothers you can still challenge yourself and live a life of adventure. Her motto is "growing is giving". She inspired me to make time to invest in myself and run my first half marathon this year.

Being a qualified holistic health coach and having studied nutrition, what would be your best piece of advise to those who want to eat healthy and loose weight at the same time. Do you believe crash diets actually work?
I did a diploma in Holistic Health as a passion project a few years ago to expand my knowledge of wellness and learn how to create a more healthy balance in life. After a decade of working in the media, I was fuelling myself with caffeine and always feeling tired. The greatest lesson this course taught me was to be gentle on yourself and instead of focusing on what you can't have (e.g. Crash diets), focus on all the nutrition you can have and add it to every meal.

What does being healthy mean to you?
RKM: Strength – physical and mental. There's no greater feeling.

Do you think we will be friends till we are old and grey and our children are playing cricket for their countries?
RKM: Our kids will have to play for the same team or I think our Aussie competitive nature might come out!

If Arias does play cricket when he is older, who would you want him to play for Australia or SA?
RKM: This is an eternal debate in our household as we are both very patriotic! We play a lot of sport in our family as he's a very active boy. He loves bowling and copying his dad. He says "mama bat, Ari fast bowling". He can already get me out!

What's the first word that comes to your mind when I say Pakistan?
RKM: Vibrant.