Dubai: South African pacer Anrich Nortje, who has joined Delhi Capitals for IPL 2020, betrayed his sense of freedom after stepping out for his first practice session with teammates following a six-day quarantine on Sunday.
‘‘It’s good to be out and on the grass, and not on the balcony. I can’t explain, but it feels like I’ve been locked up in prison for some days, so it’s great to be outside,” he said. “I tried to take it easy on the first day. It will be more intense slowly but surely over the next few days but it was so great to be bowling in an actual square, said the right arm fast bowler.
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“It’s a bit surreal to be out here, and with the Delhi Capitals. I was a late replacement, and till the time I sat on the plane I wasn’t sure if things were really happening. I wasn’t sure I was going to finally get here and if the tournament was going to go ahead, so just very happy. It kicked in once I got on to the flight,” added the 28-year-old, who was named Cricket South Africa’s Newcomer of the Year for 2020.
Speaking on the chance to fire alongside compatriot Kagiso Rabada, Nortje seemed excited: “I look forward to bowling with KoutG (Kagiso Rabada) when he gets here, and I hope that makes us a potent bowling side. We’ve definitely got the pace. It will be interesting to see how the wickets play, but I’m sure all captains would want a couple of quicks in their side to make their job a little bit easier,” said Nortje.
Nortje, who was with the Kolkata Knight Riders last season but could not make his IPL debut due to a shoulder injury, also reckons that team environment could be a big factor in the upcoming season. “It’s a great bunch of guys, and I look forward to gelling with them. We all know that it’s going to be a long season, but if the team environment is good, it can often feel like fewer days,” he added.