The first black player to play for South Africa, Makhaya Ntini is not an unknown figure in world cricket. The former cricketer is counted amongst the greatest South African bowlers of all time.
Known for his pace and athleticism, Ntini is the third-highest wicket-taker for South Africa in Tests.
Makhaya Ntini made his debut in international cricket in 1998 against New Zealand and never looked back after that. In his illustrious career, he has played 101 Tests and 173 ODI matches, picking 390 and 266 wickets respectively.
Makhaya Ntini Biography:
Early Years and Domestic Cricket:
Makhaya Ntini was born in a small village in Cape Province named Mdingi. Bowling bare-footed in the grounds of the village, the South African bowler was discovered by Border Cricket Board Development Officer, who at that time was setting up a mini-cricket programme. Impressed with Ntini’s pace, the officer sent him to the Queenstown junior cricket festival. There, he also got his first pair of shoes.
In no time, he was included in South Africa’s under-19 team. He made his debut in domestic cricket in 1995 against England XI. His debut season saw him picking 17 wickets at an average of 37.05.
He claimed his best figures in an innings against Free State, taking 3 for 49 in 17 overs. He then toured in India with the team for three youth Tests and Three ODIs. He picked five wickets in the first Test, however, his best performance came in the third test, where he finished the game with 9 wickets in the Test. He picked 6 wickets in the first innings and 3 wickets in the second Test.
Makhaya Ntini’s Son: Thando Ntini
Makhaya Ntini’s son, Thando Ntini is also a professional cricket. He was recently awarded his senior contract with Cricket South Africa ahead of the 2018-19 domestic season.
Thando Ntini was also a part of South Africa’s 2018 under-19 World Cup team.
He made his first steps in first-class cricket while playing for Western Province in the 2018-19 CSA 3-Day Provincial Cup on 14th February.
Three years of consistent display of fast bowling meant Makhaya Ntini was included in South Africa’s International cricket team. With that, he became the first black player to be included in South Africa’s International team. He made his debut against New Zealand in 1998. Just when his career was about to take flight, he was accused of the charges of rape in 1999. However, he maintained his innocence and got back to the team in 2000.
In the year 2003, Ntini became the first South African bowler to pick 10 wickets at the prestigious Lord’s cricket ground. He scalped 13 wickets for 132 runs against West Indies on 12th April 2005. With that, he became the South African bowler with the most wickets taken in a Test match.
The following year in March, he took the most wickets by a South African bowler in an ODI game. He scalped six Australian wickets for just 22 runs. Owing to his excellent performances in 2006 and 2007, he was named in the World Test XI by ICC.
Ntini scaled greater heights in the following years and became a household name in South African cricket. The Year 2009 saw him becoming the fifth-best bowler in World Cricket.
He claimed his 300th Test cricket in his 74th Test on 20th January 2007.
On 17th December 2009, he became the only black South African cricketer to play 100 Test matches in international cricket.
Makhaya Ntini called it a day to international cricket on 9th January 2011, while playing a T20 game against India.
MAKHAYA NTINI’S INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE CAREER:
Makhaya Ntini played the inaugural season of the Indian Premier league in 2008. He played nine matches and picked seven wickets at an economy of 6.91. His best performance came in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders where he claimed the best figures of his IPL career, picking 4 for 21.
MAKHAYA NTINI’S RECORDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:
- In the year 2003, Makhaya Ntini became the first South African player to claim 10 wickets at Lord’s cricket ground.
- In 2006, Makhaya Ntini claimed the best figures by any South African bowler against Australia. Makhaya Ntini became the third South African bowler to claim 300 Test wickets after Allan Border and Shaun Pollock.
- Makhaya Ntini is the third-highest wicket-taker for South Africa in Tests. He has picked 390 wickets in 101 Tests at an average of 28.82.
- Makhaya Ntini is the first black South African player to play for South African in international cricket.
- He is the fourth-highest wicket-taker for South Africa in one-day internationals. He has picked 265 wickets in 172 matches.
- Makhaya Ntini represented Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League for first three seasons.
Makhaya Ntini’s Controversies:
- Makhaya Ntini convicted of rape charges:
Just when Makhaya Ntini’s career was about to take slight, he was dragged in controversy, having been convicted of rape charges. Given that he was a black South African, the case garnered a lot of negative publicity. However, he maintained his innocence and later acquitted of all the charges. He returned to the South African team in 2000 and went onto become one of the greatest bowlers ever to be played for South Africa.
Makhaya Ntini worked as an assistant coach of the Zimbabwean National Cricket Team. He took up the job in January 2016 and got hired for a two-year contract. In January 2018, he stepped down from his post owing to complaints surfacing over his coaching methods.