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Bowling to Kohli and a pathway to the South Africa squad: Anrich Nortje excited about IPL

South Africa's speed merchant Anrich Nortje was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders at his base price of Rs 20 lakh in the IPL 2019 player auction.

Written by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: December 22, 2018 10:44 IST ]
Image Source : MZANSI SUPER LEAGUE

Anrich Nortje is known for his raw pace in the South African cricket circuit

Anrich Nortje was one of the lucky four to be picked from South Africa in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 player auction and he is looking forward to an exciting season ahead.

Nortje, hailed for his raw pace in the domestic circuit, impressed everyone in the recently concluded Mzansi Super League in South Africa and he feels that helped him earn a contact in the IPL.

"Without that [Mzansi], I wouldn't have been picked up. It was my first big T20 tournament, I'd like to get more exposure from here on, and IPL would definitely help that," Nortje told ESPNCricinfo.

And, he hopes the cash-rich tournament provides him a platform for an international call-up soon.

"I'd definitely like to play for the Proteas. I'd play any time, any format, it doesn't matter what it is. I just want to get into the green and gold and play for South Africa."

The 25-year-old, who played for the Cape Town Blitz, was picked up at his base price (Rs 20 lakh) by Kolkata Knight Riders, a team coached by Jacques Kallis, a Cape Town boy himself.

Nortje started to grab eyeballs after making the South Africa 'A' squad. He toured India and also grabbed the wickets of Prithvi Shaw and Hanuma Vihari.

But, the real exposure came during the MSL, where the world got to see a glimpse of his blistering pace and Nortje wants to take this to the IPL and impress everyone.

"I'm just excited to be playing [in the IPL]. If I can get a game, that would probably be the most exciting thing for me. It doesn't really bother me who I'm bowling to or whatever. I just want to play and just do my thing."

Also the prospect of bowling to Virat Kohli is exciting him.

"Bowling to Virat? Wow, I don't know. He's an unbelievable player. I'll have to assess it on the day, assess the wicket, and just go according to the plan of what the coach and the team wants," said an excited Nortje.

However, he wasn't expecting that he will be a part of the IPL and for him, it was just trying his luck after a successful stint in the MSL.

"I didn't really expect to get picked up, but I thought, well, definitely give it a shot. When I get on the shortlist I was quite happy. I was in Struisbaai in the Western Cape, just in a shopping centre when someone phoned me and I heard," Nortje explained. 

"I was busy getting meat for a braai that night," he laughed.

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