Fast bowler Anrich Nortje is hopeful a tough decision to withdraw from the Cape Town Blitz’s Mzansi Super League campaign late last year will yield reward for the Proteas three months later.
Nortje impressed in the inaugural tournament, generating great pace against the Durban Heat and Jozi Stars in particular, but was later sidelined by an ankle injury.
He has since undergone surgery, returned to competitive cricket for the Warriors – and been named in South Africa’s squad for this month’s ODI series against Sri Lanka.
‘I was a little bit surprised to be included. I had read a bit in the newspapers, that they were going to have a look at me, but I didn’t know when or if it was going to happen,’ Nortje was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
‘I’m feeling good again, with no stiffness after a game. I feel that the one or two ball that I’ve really tried to push with pace have gone through nicely. I’m feeling good and am in a good space at the moment. I was obviously disappointed to have had to pull out of the Mzansi Super League so early. I wanted to play the full tournament.
‘But getting the operation then and coming back now, it is working out – and I am glad I made that decision back then. But, yes, I was very disappointed to pull out of the Blitz’ campaign, when I had all that hype and momentum on my side. I had to do it – you can’t play with a broken ankle, or a broken piece of bone in your ankle.’
South Africa and Sri Lanka will meet for five ODIs. The first will be played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday. Centurion, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town will host the others.