IPL will make rising star Maphaka an even better bowler, says Nortje

KWENA Maphaka, 17, is rubbing shoulders with cricket’s best at Mumbai Indians. He could debut at the IPL today. | BackpagePix

KWENA Maphaka, 17, is rubbing shoulders with cricket’s best at Mumbai Indians. He could debut at the IPL today. | BackpagePix

Published Mar 24, 2024


FRIDAY saw the Chennai Super Kings and Faf du Plessis’ Royal Challengers Bangalore mark the start of the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League at the iconic MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Yesterday, Anrich Nortje’s Delhi Capitals geared up for their opening round of the new IPL season as they travelled to the state of Punjab to take on Kagiso Rabada’s Punjab Kings.

However, the Delhi Capitals are currently without their speedster, Nortje, for the early part of the campaign, as the quick is awaiting the birth of his child.

Nortje has been with the Delhi Capitals for a number of seasons and has gone through all the ups and downs the team has endured, as they are yet to win an IPL title.

However, Nortje says the IPL is the perfect stage to prove a point with the Capitals as they continue their quest to register their first IPL title.

“It’s a very big tournament and probably the biggest in the world,” Nortje told Independent Newspapers in an exclusive interview.

“It’s a great opportunity to make a name, prove a point and help the team as well. We’ve been together for a good few years and we would definitely like to get across the line this year.” he added.

Today, the country’s most exciting youngster, the 17-year-old Kwena Maphaka, might just don the colours of the highly successful Mumbai Indians as they travel to Ahmedabad to play David Miller’s Gujarat Titans for their first fixture of the season (at 4pm SAST).

Maphaka has replaced the injured Sri Lankan left-arm quick, Dilshan Madushanka, in the Indians’ squad.

The left-arm fast bowler is already rubbing shoulders with former Indians captain and current India captain, Rohit Sharma, an experienced head that Maphaka will learn a lot from in the nine-week-long tournament.

Nortje says the young Maphaka will return to South Africa an even better bowler, following the conclusion of his first IPL stint.

“He’s been playing brilliantly and his performances have obviously done the talking, there’s no need for any speculation around that,” Nortje commented on Maphaka’s rise.

“Whether he plays or not, he’s going to be a great asset to any team. He’s been bowling superbly the last few months and hopefully he can just take on that momentum and performance into the IPL.

“If he doesn’t play, there’s still a lot of experience around (in the IPL). (He should) try and learn, bounce off ideas and learn as much as possible from everyone else and just bring all that knowledge into his own game as well. I’m sure he’s going to come back a hell of a better bowler than he already is.” he added.

In the other match, Gujarat Titans take on Lucknow Super Giants at 12pm.