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Makhaya Ntini
Personal information
Born 6 July 1977 (1977-07-06) (age 32)
Mdingi, South Africa
Batting style Right Handed
Bowling style Right Arm Fast
Role Bowler
International information
National side South Africa
Test debut 19 March 1998 v Sri Lanka
Last Test 16 December 2009 v England
ODI debut 16 January 1998 v New Zealand
Last ODI 17 April 2009 v Australia
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 101 173 180 235
Runs scored 692 199 1,242 270
Batting average 9.74 8.65 9.55 6.92
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0
Top score 32** 42** 34* 42*
Balls bowled 20,660 8,687 33,311 11,410
Wickets 390 266 624 340
Bowling average 28.53 24.65 28.84 25.00
5 wickets in innings 18 4 25 5
10 wickets in match 4 n/a 4 n/a
Best bowling 7/37 6/22 7/37 6/22
Catches/stumpings 25/– 30/– 40/– 41/–
Source: CricketArchive, 5 December 2009

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.[1] 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 16 January at Perth against New Zealand where he took 2/30 off his full quota of 10 overs. A couple of months later, on 19 March, 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, and Omar Henry who made his debut in 1992). 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 [2] and then convicted [3] of rape. The case caused widespread 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 and was acquitted on appeal and looked to rebuild his international cricket career.[1]

International career

Makhaya Ntini (second right) bowls at the WACA Ground, Perth, Australia on December 16, 2005, the first day of the First Test, Australia v South Africa. Ntini took five wickets for 64 runs on the day. He made his international debut at the WACA, in 1998.

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 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. Ntini is a popular figure in South African sport and he was voted their favourite sportsman in a research poll conducted by the South African Press Association.[4]

A graph showing Ntini's test career bowling statistics and how they have varied over time.
Ntini at the Adelaide Oval, January 2009.

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 February 2009 he is ranked as the world's fifth-best Test bowler behind Muttiah Muralitharan, Dale Steyn, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson, but has dropped to being 25th-best ODI bowler, according to the ICC rankings.[5]

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 Alastair Cook to claim his 350th test wicket in his 90th test.

On the 17 December 2009 he played his 100th Test, becoming the only black South African cricketer to reach that mark. However, after already having lost his place in the ODI side, he was dropped from the Test side after poor performances against England.




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