Andre Nel debuted against Zimbabwe on September 7 in 2001 and is famous for his ability to generate pace on any wicket and for making facial contortions. Nel went on to take 14 wickets during his side's tour of Australia later in 2005.
He has constantly troubled Brian Lara in Test cricket, having dismissed him on many occasions.
After the 2007 World Cup, carrying a highly aggressive and respected reputation, Nel joined the English County of Essex, making his debut for the 2005 and 2006 Pro 40 Champions against the side he first experienced the English game with, Northamptonshire.
Nel has been involved in a number of controversies both on and off the field, as he has been fined for obscene language and for ICC Code of Conduct breaches during his career. During 2003, he was sent home from a South Africa A tour of Australia after being pulled up for drunk driving. Later in the year during the tour of the West Indies he, along with four other teammates, was found guilty of smoking marijuana.
His enthusiastic and aggressive approach on the field also gets him into trouble and he was notably brought before the match referee for making offensive facial gestures to Chris Gayle and subsequently fined half of his match fee.