Proteas’ Nandre Burger: Singing the national anthem is the coolest thing

New Proteas Nandre Burger warms up before an ODI against India.

New Proteas Nandre Burger fast bowler is cashing in one his success. Picture: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix

Published Dec 21, 2023


Nandre Burger has 1.1 million reasons to smile.

Not only did the Proteas fast bowler claim his first ODI wickets in a blistering spell of 3/30 to set in motion the Proteas’ eight-wicket victory over India at St George’s Park in Gqeberha, but he also signed a first Indian Premier League deal with the Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday.

The left-arm speedster, who also plays for the Joburg Super Kings in the Betway SA20 and Jaffna Kings in the Sri Lanka Premier League, will now form part of a Royals pace attack that also boasts the likes of New Zealander Trent Boult and Indian duo Navdeep Saini and Prasidh Krishna.

His Proteas and Western Province teammate Tony de Zorzi, who also scored an unbeaten 119, was certainly excited for his roommate’s new IPL deal, after he fetched R1.1 million at the player auction.

“He needs to use that money on the team, because we helped him get there,” De Zorzi quipped.

“Guys took the catches and stuff ... I am also his roommate on tour, so I am expecting something.”

De Zorzi had everyone talking about his celebration after reaching his personal milestone, with the left-handed batter mimicking a chef stirring a pot.

But he felt let down that his mate Burger did not haul out his own unique wicket-taking celebration. “I was a bit nervous.

“It (the wicket of KL Rahul) was reviewed. Didn’t just want to do it and then we got it wrong,” Burger said.

“I don’t do celebrations when I take a wicket caught at point.

“Maybe when I get a bowled or LBW again, then I’ll do it.”

The 28-year-old is just excited that he’s finally had a taste of international cricket after being called up for a couple of previous national tours without actually getting to line up for the anthem.

“Getting to play is, of course, nice. But I think the coolest thing is singing the national anthem.

“I am here for my country, giving my all,” he said.

Burger will have another crack at the Indians at Boland Park on Thursday in the series decider (1pm start).

Another good performance, and it may be De Zorzi that will have to buy the drinks in celebration of a potential Burger Proteas Test debut at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Boxing Day.