Regarded as one of the most sorted-after pacers in modern cricket, South Africa's speedster Anrich Nortje is set to make his debut in the Abu Dhabi T10 this year, with the Morrisville SAMP Army.
The Morrisville SAMP Army, who will be captained by England star Moeen Ali and coached by former Proteas all-rounder Lance Klusener, are one of the two new franchises from the USA to have joined the tournament this season, making it an 8-team spectacle in the desert country. On his part, Nortje is looking forward to a new challenge, and new conditions.
"It's 10 overs for the team and two per bowler, so it's obviously different and an interesting format. I am looking forward to the challenge, it will be different from the T20 format. A lot will depend on the conditions and how one can sum it up, and adapt. For me it will mostly be based around summing up the conditions and then taking it from there," Nortje said soon after arriving in Abu Dhabi for the tournament.
Faced with a new team, format and tournament, Nortje says he is eager to learn new things about the game.
"It's really nice to have a connection with everyone and learning from someone from a different country. How they go about things? How they do things. So, I think just trying to learn and maybe pick some brains and then obviously giving information as well as the tournament goes on," he added.
What might work for me as a player or for someone else. So, I think it's just about trying to get better as players as well. I think there's going to be a lot of learning and it could be something that you take into T20 cricket into 50 over cricket."
Nortje, South Africa's most prolific bowler at the recently concluded T20 World Cup in Australia with 11 wickets to his name, said that cricketers do need to keep an eye on their workload.
"I think in general to try and find that break is crucial and it's so hard to find it nowadays. If you're going to try and play every format and every league, you're always going to be busy, but if you can try and find a gap, it might help. It's crucial to have that and to have an understanding of your body."
Nortje, who considers Test cricket as the ultimate format, appreciated the set-up in Abu Dhabi and believes that the Abu Dhabi T10 is a good chance for players to fine-tune their skills.
"The cricket facilities are really good. The stadiums and the wickets and the game is marketed really well too. I think the major thing for this is for everyone to learn of each other. For guys that don't get the opportunity to play a lot of international cricket, to play a lot of leagues, it's definitely something to try and benefit from. Take it forward in your game and improve your game as you go along," the ace pacer concluded.
Anrich Nortje and the Morrisville SAMP Army will open their campaign against the Bangla Tigers in the first game of the second day. The 8-team extravaganza kicked off on 23rd November, with the final scheduled for 4th December.
Morrisville SAMP Army Squad: Moeen Ali (C), David Miller, Shimron Hetmyer, Dwaine Pretorius, Johnson Charles, Anrich Nortje, Chamika Karunaratne, Colin de Grandhomme, George Garton, Andries Gous, Abraham Pienaar, Bastiaan de Leede, Ahmed Raza, Kashif Daud, Basil Parappil, Raja Khan, Sheldon Cottrell, Karim Janat, Lance Klusener (Head Coach), Trevor Penny (Assistant Coach), James Foster (Assistant Coach), Vikram Hastir (Team Manager), Madhukar Shree (Logistics and Operations Manager), Dhanasekar Dilli (Analyst), Brett Edwards (Physiotherapist), Chandras Manchekar (Massage Therapist).