Anrich Nortje’s rapid rise to the top of South African cricket has been ankle tapped by injury, Cape Blitz revealed on Thursday.
Nortje, who is one of the breakout stars of this year’s Mzansi Super League to date, will miss the rest of the tournament after it was announced that he will undergo ankle surgery.
Having made a name for himself with bowling figures of 4/32 against Durban Heat and then 3/30 against Jozi Stars, coach Ashwell Prince expected big things from his Warriors import and says it is a huge blow to his side ahead of their clash against the Tshwane Spartans on Saturday at 7 pm.
Prince says it will surprise him if Nortje doesn’t play for the Proteas soon and adds: “It’s a big blow for us, so far he’s been the one guy that has been lighting up the tournament on the bowling front with his sheer pace.
“He’s been on fire throughout the tournament.”
Having called up Highveld Lions left-arm seamer Nandre Burger, Prince says this is just another hurdle they have to overcome.
Of the table-toppers’ season to date, he says: “The campaign has been – for some people – another day, another dollar.
“For me it’s been another day, another challenge.
“It’s just the same every day. We’ve had players that have been away with the Proteas and couldn’t join until a certain time.
“Then you had [Dawid] Malan, who was the captain for the first couple of games go away, Mohammad Nawaz and the other Pakistani guys – [Hussain] Talat coming in – Asif [Ali] didn’t arrive in time for the first game.
“We just take it all in our stride… another day, another challenge.”
Their next challenge is against the Tshwane Spartans and Prince knows what to expect from Saturday’s hosts.
He says: “We have an idea of what they have to offer.
“They’re obviously heavily reliant on AB [de Villiers] in the batting department…
“They had a bog injury as well to Lungi Ngidi and are unable to call on his expertise.
“That’s left their bowling department young in terms of experience, especially in the seam bowling department.
“I suppose we’re all dealing with our own little challenges, but we have to crack on.”
Weekend MSL fixtures:
NMB Giants v Paarl Rocks (2 pm)
Jozi Stars v Durban Heat (7 pm)
Tshwane Spartans v CT Blitz (7 pm)
Paarl Rocks v Durban Heat (11 am)
NMB Giants v Jozi Stars (3.30 pm)