South Africa’s fast bowler, Anrich Nortje, has been signed by St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for this year’s CPL (Caribbean Premier League). The 27-year-old pacer who had his international debut in 2019 was also expected to participate in last year’s edition of the CPL. However, he was among a group of South African cricketers who could not confirm their travel arrangements in time to make it for the tournament. The COVID pandemic compounded this issue as it was a requirement for players to go into quarantine after international travel. Nevertheless, he had been enlisted by the St Lucia Zouks for CPL 2020.
Anrich has played in all three cricket formats for South Africa. He has previously played for Eastern Province in domestic first-class cricket in the 2016 Africa T20 Cup. However, his career has been marred by injuries. For example, in 2019, he bowed out midway from the Mzansi Super League with an ankle injury. He was also sidelined from the IPL (Indian Premier League), where he was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders team due to a shoulder injury he sustained in March 2019.
The IPL’s Delhi Capitals drafted him in August 2020 to replace Chris Woakes, who had pulled out of the tournament. During his spell at the Delhi Capitals, he set a record for the fastest speed ever bowled in the IPL, clocking 156.22 km/hr. (97 mph). The Delhi Capitals also retained him for this year’s season.
He will also partner with fellow South African Rassie Van Der Dussen and cricket greats Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo. West Indian cricketer Ryan Emrit will captain the team. Chris Gayle is the biggest name on the Patriots poster and is widely touted as one of the finest batsmen in T20 cricket. St Kitts and Nevis Patriots are banking on this star-power to win their first-ever title finally. The closest they have ever been to achieve this feat was in 2017 when they lost to Trinbago Knight Rider in the final at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (Trinidad and Tobago)
CPL 2021 will be held in only one venue to ease logistics and ensure a safe time for the participants and the host nation’s residents. All 33 matches will be held in Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis. So, it is up to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to capitalize on the home-ground advantage.
Stay tuned for more updates from your favorite teams and players.