The Anrich Nortje story: From fame in franchise cricket to a national call up

19 Wickets in 12 T20s at an impressive average of 13.73 and an economy of less than 6.5 runs per over. But wait, there's more to it. In the last three T20s he has bowled in, his figures read: 1/21, 4/32 and 3/30. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you South African allrounder Anrich Nortje.

Nortje earned his maiden call to the national setup following impressive outings in the Mzansi Super League last year. The speedster, with raw pace in his arsenal, will join the South African squad for the upcoming five-match limited overs series against Sri Lanka starting in Johannesburg on March 3.

Nortje, 25 years of age, made his domestic debut in in March 2013, and having been picked by KKR in the 2018 VIVO IPL Player Auction, is all set to feature in franchise cricket outside South Africa for the first time. It wasn't too long ago that he last visited India though. He was selected to play for South Africa A during their tour of India in August 2018, where, in the second unofficial Test, he managed to scalp Prithvi Shaw and centurion Hanuma Vihari in the first innings.

The Indian tour gave Nortje the perfect match-practice for South Africa's domestic season. He was amongst the wickets (24 at 21.04) as well, and soon became the talk of the town for his lighting quick deliveries. Nortje was even reported to have touched 150km/h during one of the warm-up games.

Jacques Kallis, the former Proteas allrounder and our head coach, was also impressed by Nortje's recent exploits. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2018 VIVO IPL Player Auction, Kallis had told kkr.in,"Nortje's got some solid, raw pace. We feel he can have a good season with us, and add something different with that kind of straightforward, raw pace - so it's good. He has some good skills, we are looking forward to see what he can do (for us)."

Dale Steyn, South Africa's leading wicket-taker in Tests, who happened to have shared the same dug-out at Cape Town Blitz in MSL 2018, was all praise for the lanky fast bowler.

β€œI am a big fan of the extremes, whether it is extreme hitting, extreme fielding, and especially, extreme fast bowling. Anrich really gets me excited. When he gets the likes of AB de Villiers to take two balls to have a look - and AB prides himself on not having a dot ball bowled to him, but he let two balls go through - he can be pretty proud himself about that,” Steyn said

The pacer from Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape had a brilliant Mzansi Super League 2018-19, where he managed to knock over a few big names including Hashim Amla and Temba Bavuma while playing for Cape Town Blitz on his way to 4/32 against Durban Heat. He backed it up with 3/30 in the next match against Jozi Stars.

Nortje has been making a name for himself in the cricketing world, and could be the one to watch out for in the forthcoming Vivo IPL 2019.

Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo.