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Big Relief For DC, Nortje Returns To Competitive Cricket Ahead Of IPL 2024

Nortje has taken 53 wickets in IPL. (X.com)Nortje has taken 53 wickets in IPL. (X.com)

Delhi Capitals (DC) have received a major boost ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), with star fast-bowler Anrich Nortje returning to action after a prolonged injury lay-off.

The express pace bowler endured several injury setbacks last year, starting with a groin injury just before IPL 2023, which he managed to recover from in time to play ten matches in the tournament. 

However, he had to return home due to personal reasons towards the end of the season. 

After that Nortje featured in the Major League Cricket (MLC) in the USA before being sidelined once again, this time with a back stress fracture sustained during the ODI series against Australia in September. 

This injury ruled him out of the ODI World Cup and subsequent home series against India and South Africa.

However, Nortje made his comeback for the Warriors in a CSA T20 Challenge match against the Tuskers at St. George's Park. Despite not picking up a wicket, he put in a decent performance, conceding 12 runs across four overs, which included some overs usually reserved for the middle and death phases of the innings.

"He came through well. His pace was up; he's as quick as I've seen him. He looks happy with his body. Now his target is playing back-to-back competitive games,” Warriors coach Robin Peterson said while speaking with Cricbuzz.

While Nortje's return is a positive development for Delhi Capitals, doubts remain about his availability for their first IPL 2024 game against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on March 23. According to reports, his participation hinges on factors beyond cricket.

Nortje's presence is crucial for Delhi Capitals, especially in bolstering their fast bowling department. If he misses the initial games, it provides an opportunity for players like Lungi Ngidi or Jhye Richardson to step up and make an impact in his absence.