Cricket, the Brilliant Game!

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Player Profile(#42)…Makhaya Ntini (South Africa)

Posted by wildkiwi25 on December 26, 2008


Makhaya Ntini (born 6 July 1977 in Eastern Cape Province) is a South African cricketer who was the first ethnically black player to play for the South African team. A fast bowler, he tends to bowl from wide of the crease with brisk, although not express, pace. He has survived legal controversy early on in his career to become only the third South African to take 300 Test wickets after Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald, and to reach second place in the ICC test match bowling ratings. He plays domestic cricket for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.

Ntini came from humble beginnings where he tended cattle in his home village of Mdingi in the Eastern Cape. It was there that his talent was discovered and he was sent to Dale College in King William’s Town where he would develop his game. His action was intentionally modelled on West Indian great Malcolm Marshall.[citation needed] After a brief spell with Border his break came courtesy of an injury to Roger Telemachus and Ntini was included in the South African squad to tour Australia late in 1997. His international début came on January 16th at Perth against New Zealand where he took 2/30 off his full quota of 10 overs. A couple of months later, on March 19th, he made history by becoming the first black South African Test cricketer (though not the first non-White cricketer, as bi-racial Charles Llewellyn made his Test début in 1896). The Test match was at home in Cape Town against Sri Lanka and his maiden wicket was Aravinda De Silva who would be one of his 2 wickets in the game.

His career looked like coming to an end in 1999 when Ntini was charged and then convicted of rape. The case caused widespread controversy in South Africa with his conviction generating negative publicty in view of his status as the first black South African Test cricketer. Ntini maintained his innocence and was acquitted on appeal and looked to rebuild his international cricket career.

International career:
Ntini returned to the South African side for a Sharjah tournament in 2000. His improvement was clear as he bowled with greater control. In 2003 he became the first South African to take 10 wickets at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Arguably his best performance, however, came on 12 April 2005, when Ntini took 13 wickets for 132 runs against the West Indies at Port of Spain. This remains the best bowling performance by a South African cricketer in a Test match. On 3 March 2006, Ntini also achieved the best bowling figures by a South African in an ODI, demolishing Australia with 6 wickets for 22 runs. Ntini is a popular figure in South African sport and he was voted their favourite sportsman in a research poll conducted by the South Africa Press Association.

From recent performances, Ntini has established himself as South Africa’s premier fast bowler and one of the leading fast bowlers in the world. As of December 2007 he is ranked as the world’s third-best Test bowler behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Stuart Clark, and ninth-best ODI bowler, according to the ICC rankings.

On 20 January 2007 Ntini dislodged Mohammed Sami to take his 300th test wicket, in his 74th test. On 1 August 2008 he removed England opener Alistair Cook to claim his 350th test wicket in his 90th test.

Links to more information on Makhaya Ntini:

  • Profile on Makhaya Ntini
  • Page on Makhaya Ntini
  • Makhaya Ntini Bio Page
  • Makhaya Ntini: Stats, Pics, Articles, Interviews and Milestones on


    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

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