Nortje ready for IPL challenge
Warriors fast bowler eager for Kolkata Knight Riders stint
Warriors fast bowler Anrich Nortje could not contain his excitement ahead of making his debut in the gold and purple of the Kolkata Knight Riders at IPL 2019.
Nortje was snapped up by the two-time Indian Premier League champions for just over 20 Lakh rupees (about R400,000) and Nortje is raring to get back into the nets once he’s recovered from injury.
Speaking to The Herald on Thursday morning, Nortje said: “I’m really excited to be selected to play in the IPL next year. It is something you dream of as a kid watching the competition.
“I think it will be such a great experience to play amongst some of the biggest names in world cricket.
“It will also be a massive learning experience for me. There is so much more I will be able to add to my game while gaining as much T20 experience as I can,” an excited Nortje said.
The right arm quick, who played for the Cape Town Blitz in the recently concluded Mzansi Super League, had an impressive stint picking up eight wickets for 83 runs at an average of 10.37 in his three matches.
Nortje said the MSL was a great platform for young cricketers to put up their hand and make a name for themselves.
“The MSL was great. I really enjoyed it and it gave many of us young cricketers a stage to perform on. It was what helped me to get noticed for the IPL so I think it is a tournament that will continue to grow over the next few years,” Nortje saidAnrich Nortje, on playing in the Mzansi Super League
“The MSL was great. I really enjoyed it and it gave many of us young cricketers a stage to perform on. It was what helped me to get noticed for the IPL so I think it is a tournament that will continue to grow over the next few years,” Nortje said.
His MSL tournament was cut short after he picked up an ankle injury which resulted in him having surgery. While he anticipates a return to action somewhere in February, Nortje said he would let the healing process take its course and not rush things.
“A piece of bone which broke off on the side of the ankle had to be removed, so now I have to have six weeks with no impact on the foot. The good thing is I am out of the moon boot and starting to move smoothly again,” he explained.
Nortje could not watch the IPL auction on television due to family commitments, said he did not believe it when a friend called him to break the news.
“My fiance and I are currently travelling from Cape Town to PE, so I couldn’t watch it, but when a friend of mine called me to give the news, I didn’t believe it, but then I started getting messages from other family and friends, then only did it start to sink in,” the lanky fast bowler added.
This will not be Nortje’s first taste of sub-continent conditions, having represented South Africa A in a tour to India earlier this year.
“I only played one four-day game on that tour, so it won’t help me much in the shorter format, but it was an unbelievable experience, getting to learn about the culture and the people. “But looking ahead to the IPL I will just continue to do what I know and hopefully that will lead to me getting a game or two,,” he added.
Asked about the interest shown by the Kolkata outfit, Nortje said it could be due to the pace he produced for the Blitz in the MSL.
“I think I can bring a little bit of extra pace to the team, so obviously they liked what they saw in the MSL maybe they thought I can bring that to the team.