Journey of the rising speedster from South Africa – Anrich Nortje

Playing international cricket for his country is a dream for any cricketer. And for the tall pace bowler from South Africa Anrich Nortje, it was a really bumpy ride. Nortje excelled at bowling yorkers but still had to prove his worth before entering the national team. And, what better a platform than domestic franchise tournaments to prove to the selectors that you have the capability to bowl to the best of the batsmen from all over the world.

However, things didn’t go his way at the start. After having a great tour to India with the South Africa A team, he was all set to play in the 2018 season of the Mzansi Super League. Halfway through the tournament, he sustained an ankle injury and was forced to pull out of the tournament.

Another heartbreak

The good news was in store for him, as he was picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in December 2018, to play for the franchise in the Indian Premier League 2019. To his dismay, as fate would have it, he would again have to wait before having that one break-through tournament. Ahead of the start of the IPL, he sustained another injury and was ruled out of the tournament.

The short-lived joy

But, it was not late before all the stars lined up in his favour and he got a chance to play for the South Africa national team. He was named in the Proteas team for a One Day International series against Sri Lanka in March 2019. In that series, he performed well and that earned him a spot in the T20 team too, against the same side. He was ruled out of that series again due to an injury and it looked as if it was going to be a tough time for him coping up with the stress of professional cricket. The injury-prone body of Nortje cost him many other chances to make a mark. He was ruled out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, a tournament where he really could have left his mark.

In the 2019 edition of the MSL, he got a chance to play in the tournament, as a part of the Cape Town Blitz team. And, after then there was no looking back for him. He performed decently with the ball in hand, bowling tight lines and made sure he minimised the run-scoring. Nortje played in 7 matches that season and managed to pick up 6 wickets in total.

Later that year, in the month of September, he made his debut for the national Test team against India and it was followed up by his T20I debut too, which happened on the same tour. He has since played in 6 Test matches, 7 ODIs and 2 T20 Internationals, picking up a total of 35 wickets. His efforts for the national team were rewarded in the true sense when he was included in Cricket South Africa’s list of players who were awarded an annual retainership contract for the 2020-21 season.

Brilliant IPL 2020 season

Currently playing in the Indian Premier League 2020, Nortje looks to be in good touch with the ball. He has played in 12 matches as on 01st November and has taken 16 wickets, and has become a vital part of his franchise’s bowling attack.

Anrich Nortje looks to be a bright prospect in the making, and the only thing that is stopping him from becoming great is his injury management. If he is able to take enough care of his body and continues to be at the peak of his health, there should be no stopping his rise in world cricket.