Proteas

SA Cricketer of the Year Anrich Nortje eager to hit the ground running in Caribbean

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South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje (Gallo Images)
South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje (Gallo Images)
Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images
  • Proteas fast bowler Anrich Nortje is looking to continue his fine form in the Caribbean, where he'll be playing for the first time.
  • Nortje won four CSA Awards at Monday's virtual event, including the prestigious SA Cricketer of the Year award.
  • The 27-year-old added that he was delighted to be recognised despite "an up and down season". 

SA Cricketer of the Year Anrich Nortje hopes to continue his form in the Caribbean ahead of the Proteas' tour to the West Indies this month.

Nortje bagged four Cricket South Africa (CSA) awards during Monday's virtual ceremony as he also picked up the Test Cricketer of the Year, SA Fans' Cricketer of the Year and tied for the SA Men's Players' Player of the Year.

Since arriving on the international circuit in 2019, Nortje has quickly become one of the Proteas' most consistent performers.

The 27-year-old fast bowler has taken 17 wickets thus far in three Tests in 2021, which included a career-best of 6/56 against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers.

On Monday, Nortje became the 12th player to win SA's top men's award and created his own piece of history by being named Newcomer of the Year and Men's Cricketer of the Year in successive years.

"It's been such an up and down season with Covid and not getting a lot of games, I haven't been able to think about the awards, but I'm happy to be a part of it," Nortje said via a video clip released by CSA.

Nortje looked back on what has been a challenging year for the Proteas - losing four consecutive series against Pakistan away and at home.

He remarked on his season thus far, highlighting his 5/56 against Pakistan in Rawalpindi as "special" despite the Proteas suffering a 95-run loss.

"I think I had a decent season, quite happy with the way I've progressed and just looking to build on and take that momentum going forward to the West Indies."

The Proteas will arrive in St Lucia on Tuesday with the tour consisting of two Tests and five T20Is.

The two Tests will not form part of the World Test Championship, with the Test final between India and New Zealand scheduled for 18-22 June in Southampton.

Nortje admits that while he is unfamiliar with the conditions in the Caribbean, he is raring for the opportunity to get back into the green and gold.

"I'm excited to go to the West Indies, I've never been there. I'm looking forward to it though I'm not sure what to expect, but I've heard a lot about it. Not too sure how it will be with fast bowling, but really excited to go," said Nortje.

"It's not easy knowing that conditions might not favour you. If we can get the basics right again and try and hit the top of off for as long as possible, hopefully, it'll happen for us there."

The Proteas will be under immense pressure in the Caribbean and hope to get back to winning ways ahead of the first Test from 10 June.

"We can do a good job if we just do our basics right and stick to our strengths. Hopefully, we can win the series at the end of the day," ended Nortje.

Nortje is likely to remain in the Caribbean as he is set to make his Caribbean Premier League (CPL) debut with St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in August.

South Africa tour to West Indies fixtures:

10-14 June, 1st Test - St Lucia

18-22 June, 2nd Test - St Lucia

26 June, 1st T20I - Grenada

27 June, 2nd T20I - Grenada

29 June, 3rd T20I - Grenada

1 July, 4th T20I - Grenada 

3 July, 5th T20I - Grenada

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