Cape Town – Anrich Nortje was buying braai meat when he got a phone call that will in all likelihood change his life forever.
The 25-year-old was not known by many in South Africa until the Mzansi Super League (MSL) where he took eight wickets in just three matches for the Cape Town Blitz before getting injured and missing the rest of the tournament.
That was all it took for Nortje to attract global attention, and he pocketed a cool R400 000 this week when he was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders coach Jacques Kallis.
While that may seem a modest sum compared to others in the competition, the fact that Nortje is now an IPL player suggests that there are bigger pay cheques on his horizon if he takes his opportunity now.
Speaking to Cricinfo, Nortje admitted that he was not expecting to be drafted.
“I didn’t really expect to get picked up, but I thought, well, definitely give it a shot,” he said.
“When I got on the shortlist I was quite happy. I was in Struisbaai in the Western Cape, just in a shopping centre when someone phoned me and I heard.
“I was busy getting meat for a braai that night.”
Nortje credits the MSL for his new-found success.
“Without that, I wouldn’t have been picked up. It was my first big T20 tournament, I’d like to get more exposure from here on, and IPL would definitely help that,” he said.