Makhaya Ntini to retire from international cricket

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MAKHAYA NTINI, one the giants of South African cricket over the past dozen years, on Tuesday announced his decision to retire from international cricket. He will remain available for his franchise, the Chevrolet Warriors.

His decision brings down the curtain on a brilliant career that has seen him take 390 wickets (the 11th highest of all time and the second best by a Protea) in Test cricket in 101 appearances and 266 wickets in ODI cricket in 173 appearances.

He holds the South African records for the best bowling figures in Test cricket (a match return of 13/132 versus the West Indies at Trinidad in 2005), in ODI cricket (6/23 against Australia at Sahara Park Newlands in 2006) and of the most 10-wicket hauls in Tests (4, a mark he shares with Dale Steyn). He is also the only South African bowler to take 10 wickets in a Test match at the Mecca of Cricket, the famous Lord’s ground in London.

“It has been a wonderful journey for me to represent my country,” commented Ntini. “I have so many great memories, which I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

“My career is by no means over; it just means that internationally my time has come to hang up my boots. Domestic cricket is thriving at the moment, and I want to be a part of the set up, as a player, for as long as possible.

“It is also my dream to give back. The Makhaya Ntini Cricket Academy in Mdantsane is gathering momentum, and I am keen to put more energy into the project, and let it be a vehicle for change.

“I am currently in discussions with CSA about getting involved with their TOMORROW campaign, and give back to its cricket development programmes, which are the same structures I came through.”

Cricket South Africa (CSA) will honour Ntini at the historic Standard Bank International Pro20 for the Krish Mackerdhuj Trophy at the world-class Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban in January both for his contribution to cricket and for his inspiration to current and future generations that has made him the peoples’ champion.

CSA CEO Gerald Majola said: “Makhaya is the most popular sportsman in the country, and he deserves to bow out of international cricket in fine style. I cannot think of a better send-off, with over 50 000 people expected at Moses Mabhida stadium for this commemorative match.

“A new era in the Makhaya Ntini legacy is about to be born, and CSA is excited to work with Makhaya, in helping shape tomorrow.”

-Cricket South Africa Press Release.

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