South African pacer Anrich Nortje felt like being "locked in prison" and there couldn't have been a more blissful feeling than hitting the nets for his IPL franchise Delhi Capitals ahead of upcoming edition of the cash-rich tournament, starting September 19 in the UAE.
Nortje replaced Chris Woakes in the Capitals line-up and had his first session on Sunday evening.
"It's good to be out and on the grass, and not on the balcony. I can't explain, but it feels like I've been locked up in prison for some days, so it's great to be outside," he was quoted as saying in a media release.
"I tried to take it easy on the first day. It will be more intense slowly but surely over the next few days. But it was so great to be bowling in an actual square," said the right-arm fast bowler.
Nortje, who had dismissed Virat Kohli during the Test series last year, actually didn't believe that he will be playing the IPL this year till he boarded the plane.
"It's a bit surreal to be out here, and with the Delhi Capitals. I was a late replacement, and till the time I sat on the plane I wasn't sure if things were really happening," added the 28-year-old.
Nortje, who was with KKR last season, but could not make his IPL debut due to a shoulder injury, also reckons that team environment could be a big factor in the upcoming season.
In case he plays, he would like to forge a lethal new ball pairing with compatriot Kagiso Rabada.
"I look forward to bowling with KG (Kagiso Rabada) when he gets here, and I hope that makes us a potent bowling side.
"We've definitely got the pace. It will be interesting to see how the wickets play, but I'm sure all captains would want a couple of quicks in their side to make their job a little bit easier," said Nortje, who was named Cricket South Africa's Newcomer of the Year for 2020.