Anrich Arno Nortje
November 16, 1993
Right hand bat
Right arm fast
Anrich Nortje is a genuine quick who has been described as "extremely exciting" by none other than Dale Steyn. Like Steyn, Nortje is not a product of a big city but comes from the town of Uitenhage, north of Port Elizabeth, which is home to the largest Volkswagen factory in the African continent. It's hardly surprising then, that Nortje is well-acquainted with speed. He regularly sends the speed gun over 150kph and has a fearsome bouncer.
Nortje was schooled at Brandwag High and went on to complete a Bachelor of Commerce degree in financial planning at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, where he used varsity cricket to hone his skills. Nortje enjoyed a strong start to his first-class franchise career, with 20 wickets in four matches in the 2016-17 season and a fifth-place finish on the first-class wicket charts in the 2017-18 summer, when he was the second-highest wicket-taking seamer. But the shorter format was where he got his big break.
Nortje stormed onto the scene in late 2018, in the inaugural edition of the Mzansi Super League, South Africa's franchise T20 competition, with express pace that helped him take eight wickets in three matches for the Cape Town Blitz. His sensational start did not last too long and he was forced out of the tournament with an ankle injury, which required surgery. He recovered by early 2019 and made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in March 2019. Nortje played four of the five matches in the series with a best return of 3 for 57 at his home ground in Port Elizabeth and appeared to have made a strong case for inclusion in the 2019 World Cup squad.
Nortje's career appeared to be on the ascendancy when he was contracted by Kolkata Knight Riders for the 2019 IPL but had to withdraw from the tournament when he picked up a shoulder injury. Despite that, he was named in South Africa's World Cup squad and had recovered in time for the tournament but broke his thumb in training ahead of the team's departure. An opportunity to tour with the national side finally came in September-October 2019, when Nortje was named in the squad for a T20I and Test series in India. He made his debuts in both formats there.
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