Will Try Getting More Blacks To Play Cricket: Makhaya Ntini




Makhaya Ntini

Makhaya Ntini

Cape Town: On 9th of January, 2011, Makhaya Ntini will play his last match a T20 International versus India for his national side. On Monday afternoon, the 33-year-old paceman, the first Black African to represent South Africa in cricket spoke to the press and media fraternity at Newlands, after a promotional appearance for KFC.

Makhaya Ntini who debuted for South Africa in the 1997-98 season, is going to sign off with a very impressive note of 390 scalps in 101 Test appearances and 266 from 173 ODIs. The following are excerpts from the interview.

Whether he’s decided to quit at the right time…
(Laughs at first) One never knows… It might have well been the right time, may not be the right time… The fact is that the decision has been made.

On being such an inspirational figure, especially for the Blacks…
I think I had a huge role to play on and off the field, and I’ve tried my best in doing my bit.

Legacy…
It’s for you to judge.

Fans showing desperation to reach out to him during the lunch break…
Yeah, I saw that. They wanted to touch me. But they won’t have to miss me as Dale Steyn is here. He has the ability to get the fans behind him.

What should one have or needs to improvise on in becoming a fast bowler?
Ability. In my view, you’ve got to be born as a fast bowler.

Early influences…
Someone like Richard Pybus who was a former coach for Pakistan. I’m grateful to all those who understood me and inspired me despite knowing that I was a village boy.

On Lonwabo Tsotsobe…
He’s playing well. He definitely has a bright future.

Controversy over the ‘quota’ system…
I can’t comment on this really. The reality today is that Tsotsobe is the only emerging Black in the current national side. More work needs to be done. Having said that, Dr. Ali Bacher in the past and Gerald Majola in recent times have opened doors for them.

Thoughts on the forthcoming World Cup…
I’ll probably pick South Africa as the favourites to win it this time.

Whether playing in the subcontinent could work to South Africa’s disadvantage…
No, I don’t think so. Most of our players have toured the region recently and have been playing many tournaments. It is no longer an unfamiliar region to acclimatize to.

Finally, on how he’ll be keeping himself busy after January 9…
I’ll try to encourage more and more Black Africans to play cricket and aim to get into the national side. I’ll go on promoting KFC’s Mini Cricket, which attracts so many kids, he concluded.

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Devesh Bhuwad

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Hi, I’m Devesh D. Bhuwad from Mumbai. 21 years old, I have completed my BSc from Ruia College, Mumbai and intend to pursue an MBA. Currently I am in search of work as well. Writing was always my hobby since childhood wrote almost on anything but never had the brains to make a blog! And at the same time cricket was my passion. Grew up watching Sachin Tendulkar play, couldn’t be anywhere near to him though! So started writing on Cricket and at the same time other sports like Football, Tennis, Badminton and the very much hyped IPL urged me to write on them as well. And here I am, having found a perfect platform at www.thesportsmirror.com to share my articles to the world as a Freelance Content writer and in a way gain experience of contributing to a newly hosted website rather a venture which I’m sure will definitely help me in the future.

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