Delhi Capitals have roped in South African pacer Anrich Nortje to replace England star Chris Woakes in their squad for the upcoming season of IPL. The thirteenth edition of IPL 2020, which was scheduled to take place in March-May, will start on September 19 in the UAE.
While confirming the replacement for Chris Woakes, Delhi Capitals did not specify the reason for his withdrawal. As per media reports, health concerns could be the reason behind Chris Woakes’ withdrawal. Delhi Capitals had secured his services in the previous auction for INR 1.5 crore.
But earlier this year, he had announced his withdrawal from the season, which was scheduled to begin on March 30, to “prolong my England career”.
“I just feel like I’d been on a bit of a treadmill and I needed to get off for a bit of a breather. From a mental point of view it’s about recharging those batteries,” he had said then. “The IPL is great but I’ve been there and done it. That’s not to say I don’t want to do it again but at this moment England is the most important thing to me, as well as spending time at home with the family where I can.”
First stint in IPL:
The upcoming season will be Nortje’s first in IPL. The 26-year old was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders’ squad for the last IPL but could not play a single game because of a shoulder injury. The Knight Riders had handed him his maiden IPL contract after he impressed in the Mzansi Super League.
Nortje will further bolster Delhi Capitals’ already impressive pace attack. The Delhi-based outfit boasts the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Keemo Paul and Mohit Sharma in their attack.
“I am excited to join the Delhi Capitals, a team that was the talk of the tournament last season,” Nortje said in a statement issued by Capitals. “With its exciting mix of experienced and young players, and a stellar coaching line up, there is no doubt this is going to be a massive learning experience for me. I am grateful to the Delhi Capitals management for giving me this opportunity.”
Apart from Nortje, there are ten other South Africans participating in IPL 2020. However, there is an uncertainty over their availability for the competition because of South African government’s decision to seal the borders to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The players are likely to join their teams in UAE in September while the teams will be leaving India later this month.
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