Sport

SURPRISE OMISSION

Proteas fast bowler Anrich Nortje snubbed for Cricket South Africa national contract

Proteas fast bowler Anrich Nortje snubbed for Cricket South Africa national contract
Fast bowler Anrich Nortje has been back in action for the Dafabet Warriors after a lengthy injury lay-off. But he has not been awarded a new CSA contract. (Photo: Richard Huggard / Gallo Images)

Despite being an integral member of the national side for the past five years, Anrich Nortje has not had his national contract renewed.

Anrich Nortje was the surprise omission when Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced the Proteas Men and Women’s contracted squad for the 2024/25 season on Tuesday, 26 March.

The contracting cycle officially starts on 1 May.

The other omissions from the previous contracting cycle include recent retirees Quinton de Kock and Dean Elgar, although the former remains available for T20I matches.

proteas quinton de kock

Quinton De Kock in action during the BBL match for Melbourne Renegades against Brisbane Heat at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, on 21 December 2023. (Photo: Darrian Traynor / Getty Images)

Sisanda Magala, Wayne Parnell and Keegan Petersen are the other cricketers to not have their international contracts renewed.

Meanwhile, Western Province duo Nandre Burger and Tony de Zorzi have been awarded their first national contracts, while Titans fast bowler Gerald Coetzee was upgraded to a full contract during the current season and has been retained for the upcoming season.

Dolphins all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo makes his return to the contracted squad.

On the Proteas women’s side, their contracted squad size has increased from 15 to 16 with Dolphins fast bowler Ayanda Hlubi and Titans all-rounder Eliz-Mari Marx earning their maiden national contracts following impressive debut seasons for the national side.

Shabnim Ismail, who retired from international cricket in May last year, is the only omission from last season’s contracted squad.

“We are pleased to announce the Proteas Men and Women’s contracted squad for the 2024/25 season,” Director of Cricket Enoch Nkwe said. “The player selection for both squads reflects our commitment to nurturing talent and rewarding exceptional performances.

“Our goal is to continue building strong and competitive teams that can consistently challenge on the global stage.

“With the addition of promising newcomers and the retention of experienced players, we believe we have assembled squads capable of achieving success in the upcoming season.”

Missing Nortje

Nortje sustained a back injury in September last year which forced him out of the One Day International World Cup in India a month later.

In total, Nortje missed five months of action – mainly the South African summer – which included a multi-format home series against India as well as the SA20 tournament.

Nortje only recently returned to action in the CSA T20 Challenge, representing the Warriors in three matches.

He is now off to India where he will represent the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League.

Nortje’s omission from the national contracting list is still a surprise, considering how vital his role as an enforcer has been for the national side since his debut for the Proteas in 2019.

Nkwe told ESPNCricinfo that Nortje wanted to focus on white ball cricket.

“He (Nortje) requested he wants to focus on T20 cricket for the next few months,” Nkwe told the publication. “He is not retiring from any internationals.

“He will avail himself for T20 internationals. Towards the end of the year, he will look to play ODIs again. We will be monitoring him and around to help him with whatever he needs.”

The express fast bowler has excellent international figures. He has 70 wickets in 19 Test matches at an average of 26.71 for South Africa and 36 wickets in 22 ODI’s for the country.

His T20I stats are also impressive with 38 wickets in 31 matches. His economy rate of 7.14 is magnificent considering he often bowls the death overs.

But in Nortje’s injury-enforced absence, Coetzee and Burger emerged for the national side, who bowl in the same 145 km/h speed region as the 30-year-old — both of whom have been awarded contracts.

Coetzee had an excellent World Cup in India, finishing as the highest wicket-taker for the country with 20 scalps in eight matches.

Burger made his debut in all three formats against India in which the left-arm quick troubled the Indians with his pace and bounce. DM

Proteas Men’s Contract Squad 2024/25

Temba Bavuma ( Lions), Nandre Burger (Western Province), Gerald Coetzee (Titans), Tony de Zorzi (Western Province), Bjorn Fortuin (Lions), Reeza Hendricks (Lions), Marco Jansen (Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), David Miller (Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Ryan Rickelton (Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Tristan Stubbs (Warriors) and Rassie van der Dussen (Lions).

Proteas Women’s Contract Squad 2024/25

Anneke Bosch (Titans), Tazmin Brits (Garden Route Badgers), Nadine de Klerk (Western Province), Lara Goodall (Western Province), Ayanda Hlubi (Dolphins), Sinalo Jafta (Lions), Marizanne Kapp (Western Province), Ayabonga Khaka (Lions), Masabata Klaas (Titans), Suné Luus (Titans), Eliz-Mari Marx (Titans), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Dolphins), Tumi Sekhukhune (Lions), Chloé Tryon (DP World Lions), Delmi Tucker (Western Province) and Laura Wolvaardt (Titans).

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