Makhaya Ntini

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Makhaya Ntini
Makhaya Ntini 4.jpg
Ntini in 2009
Personal information
Full name
Makhaya Ntini
Born (1977-07-06) 6 July 1977 (age 45)
KwaMdingi, King William's Town, Eastern Cape, South Africa
NicknameThe Mdingi Express
Height175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
BowlingRight-arm fast
RelationsThando Ntini (son)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 269)19 March 1998 v Sri Lanka
Last Test26 December 2009 v England
ODI debut (cap 47)16 January 1998 v New Zealand
Last ODI17 April 2009 v Australia
ODI shirt no.16
T20I debut (cap 9)21 October 2005 v New Zealand
Last T20I9 January 2011 v India
Domestic team information
2008Chennai Super Kings
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 101 173 190 275
Runs scored 699 199 1,284 328
Batting average 9.84 8.65 9.44 7.45
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0
Top score 32* 42* 34* 42*
Balls bowled 20,834 8,687 35,039 13,053
Wickets 390 266 651 388
Bowling average 28.82 24.65 28.98 25.28
5 wickets in innings 18 4 27 6
10 wickets in match 4 0 5 0
Best bowling 7/37 6/22 7/37 6/22
Catches/stumpings 25/– 30/– 40/– 50/–
Source: CricInfo, 30 August 2017

Makhaya Ntini OIS (born 6 July 1977) is a South African former professional cricketer, who played all forms of the game. He was the first black player to play for the South African national cricket team.[1]

He reached second place in the ICC Test match bowling ratings and was the third South African cricketer to take 300 Test cricket wickets, after Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald. In December 2017, his son Thando Ntini was named in South Africa's squad for the 2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup.[2] He played his last match against India in 2011.

Early recognition

Ntini was born in Mdingi, a village in Cape Province, which is near King William's Town (currently in Eastern Cape Province).[3] He was discovered by a Border Cricket Board development officer, who was setting up a mini-cricket programme. Although Ntini was both too old and too big to participate in the programme the officer, Raymond Booi, noticed the bared-footed cowherd's enthusiasm and talent for bowling. He lent the 15-year-old Ntini a pair of plimsolls and arranged for him to participate in a net session in King William's Town. Ntini impressed Booi, who contacted Greg Hayes, the head of the development programme. The pair placed Ntini in a junior cricket festival in Queenstown and Hayes purchased Ntini his first pair of boots for the festival, but later had to give the young bowler instructions not to wear them indoor or when herding cattle.[4]

Two years later, he was selected to tour England with the South Africa Under-19 squad and played all five of the youth internationals. England dominated both One Day Internationals (ODIs) during the tour, with the South Africans only managing to take one wicket across the two matches, which fell to Pierre Joubert.[5] In the Test series, which England won 2–0, Ntini claimed nine wickets, the second-most by a South African bowler.[6] His bowling was expensive, coming at a rate of 4.53 runs per over: more than any other South African with the exception of Mark Boucher, who is best known as a wicket-keeper.[6][7]

Domestic career

Ntini at Edgbaston, 31 July 2008

After two matches for Border against the touring Kenyans,[8] Ntini made his First-class cricket debut in November 1995, facing an England XI.[9] He claimed two wickets in England's only innings as Border were beaten comprehensively.[10]

In his debut season, Ntini claimed 17 wickets at an average of 37.05 in First-class competitions.[11] His best performance in an innings came against Free State, when he claimed three wickets for 49 runs (3/49) during his 17 overs.[12] He again toured with the national Under-19s in March and April 1996, touring India, where he played three youth Tests and one of the three ODIs. After claiming five wickets in the first Test[13] and none in the second,[14] Ntini displayed his talent in the third match, taking 6/53 in the first innings and 3/48 in the second innings.[15]

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.

A graph showing Ntini's Test career bowling statistics and how they have varied over time.

In 2003, he became the first South African to take 10 wickets at Lord's. His best performance,[citation needed] however, came when Ntini took 13 wickets for 132 runs against the West Indies in the Port of Spain on 12 April 2005. This remains the most wickets taken 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. A popular figure in South African sport, Ntini was voted their favourite sportsman in a research poll conducted by the South African Press Association.[16] For his performances in 2006 and 2007,[17] he was named in the World Test XI by ICC. He was also named in the World Test XI by Cricinfo.[18]

Ntini went on to establish himself as South Africa's premier fast bowler and one of the leading fast bowlers in the world. In February 2009, he was ranked as the world's fifth-best Test bowler behind Muttiah Muralitharan, Dale Steyn, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson, but had dropped to being 25th-best ODI bowler, according to the ICC rankings.[19]

Ntini's five-wicket hauls
Against Tests[20] ODIs[21]
Home Away Home Away Neutral
 Australia 1 1 1 - -
 Bangladesh 1 - - - -
 England - 3 - - -
 India 1 - - - -
 New Zealand 4 - - - 1
 Pakistan 2 - - - 1
 Sri Lanka - - 1 - -
 West Indies 3 2 - - -

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

Ntini played his 100th Test on 17 December 2009, becoming the only black South African cricketer to reach that mark. Sponsors Castle Lager promised every fan in attendance a free beer in celebration on the day he took his first wicket and he duly obliged on the second day when he bowled Andrew Strauss of England. However, after already having lost his place in the ODI side, he was dropped from the Test side after poor performances against England.

Ntini retired from all forms of international cricket in a T20I against India[22] on 9 January 2011.[23]

To date, Ntini is one of only three players to have played more than 100 Test matches without scoring a 50.[24] Courtney Walsh and Nathan Lyon are the others.

During his career, Ntini took 22 five-wicket hauls. As of 2020, he ranks joint seventeenth among all-time combined five-wicket haul takers (joint with Allan Donald, Malcolm Marshall and Daniel Vettori), and joint second in the equivalent list for South Africa, alongside Donald and behind Dale Steyn.[25]


Ntini (second right) bowling at the WACA Ground in Perth on 16 December 2005, day one of the first Test, Australia v South Africa. He took 5 wickets for 64 runs on the day, having previously made his international debut at the same venue in 1998.

Ntini's career looked like coming to an early end in 1999 when he was charged and then convicted of rape, although he was finally acquitted.[26][27]

The case caused controversy in South Africa, with his conviction generating negative publicity in view of his status as the first black South African Test cricketer. Ntini maintained his innocence, was acquitted on appeal and rebuilt his international cricket career.[28] Ntini thanked Cricket South Africa for sticking by him.[23]

On 17 July 2020, while on SABC 2's Morning Live, Ntini detailed the alleged racism he experienced throughout his career. He claimed other players would not sit with him during meals and said he "was forever lonely" in the Proteas team. Ntini further stated that he used to run to the stadium and back to hotels to avoid being lonely on the team bus. Ntini's comments came shortly after fellow South African cricketer Lungi Ngidi called for the national team to show support towards the Black Lives Matter movement.[29]

Coaching career

In January 2016, Ntini was appointed as the assistant coach of the Zimbabwean national cricket team with a two-year contract.[30] Following the sacking of the previous coach Dav Whatmore, Ntini was appointed as interim head coach for the home series against India in 2016.[31] He resigned from the role as coach in January 2018,[32] although Ntini was reported to have claimed that he was asked to step down by the board on the basis of alleged complaints from the players over his coaching methods.[33]


  1. ^ Moonda, Firdose (9 January 2011). "Ntini was more than a cricketer". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 2 January 2022. He represented something far more special, partly because he was the first black African cricketer to play for South Africa and partly because he bore the responsibility that came with that with such dignity and grace that South Africans of all colour embraced him.
  2. ^ "Raynard van Tonder to captain South Africa at 2018 ICC U19 World Cup". Cricket South Africa. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Player Profile: Makhayaluya Ntini". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  4. ^ Robinson, Peter (26 November 1997). "Cricket: Cattle-herder Ntini wins his place in history". The Independent. London: Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Under-19 ODI Bowling for South Africa Under-19s: South Africa Under-19s in England 1995". CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Under-19 Test Bowling for South Africa Under-19s: South Africa Under-19s in England 1995". CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Player Profile: Mark Boucher". CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Other matches played by Makhaya Ntini (66)". CricketArchive. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  9. ^ "First-Class Matches played by Makhaya Ntini (190)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Border v England XI in 1995/96". CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  11. ^ "First-class Bowling in Each Season by Makhaya Ntini". CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  12. ^ "Border v Free State in 1995/96". CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  13. ^ "India Under-19s v South Africa Under-19s in 1995/96". CricketArchive. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  14. ^ "India Under-19s v South Africa Under-19s in 1995/96". CricketArchive. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  15. ^ "India Under-19s v South Africa Under-19s in 1995/96". CricketArchive. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  16. ^ Ntini voted South Africa's favorite sportsperson | South Africa Cricket News | ESPN Cricinfo. (30 December 2005). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  17. ^ "ICC names World Test Team of the Year". ESPNcricinfo.
  18. ^ "Twelve from '06". ESPNcricinfo.
  19. ^ Lgiccrankings.Com. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  20. ^ "Bowling records | Test matches | Cricinfo Statsguru |". Cricinfo.
  21. ^ "Bowling records | One-Day Internationals | Cricinfo Statsguru |". Cricinfo.
  22. ^ "India wins one-off T20I at Durban". IndiaVoice. 11 January 2011. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  23. ^ a b "'People's champ' of SA cricket retires" (Press release). South African Government Online. 3 November 2010. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  24. ^ "Batting records | Test matches | Cricinfo Statsguru |". Cricinfo.
  25. ^ "Combined Test, ODI and T20I records: Most five-wicket hauls in a career". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  26. ^ South African cricketer Makhaya Ntini to be charged with rape (14 January 1999) | Cricket News | South Africa | ESPN Cricinfo. (14 January 1999). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  27. ^ Lemke, Gary (22 June 2003). "Ntini and company ready for a sting after the sorry tales". The Independent. London.
  28. ^ Cricinfo – Players and Officials – Makhaya Ntini. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  29. ^ Butler, Lynn (17 July 2020). "Makhaya Ntini recalls avoiding riding on Proteas team bus: 'I was forever lonely'". Sport24. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  30. ^ "Zimbabwe rope in Ntini, Atapattu as coaches". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  31. ^ "Ntini lambasts Zimbabwe batsmen's approach". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  32. ^ "Ntini and Zimbabwe Cricket part ways". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  33. ^ "Ntini claims he was asked to step down by Zimbabwe Cricket". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 7 January 2018.

External links

Makhaya Ntini at ESPNcricinfo