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Makhaya Ntini

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Title: Makhaya Ntini  
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Subject: Australian cricket team in South Africa in 2005–06, English cricket team in South Africa in 2004–05, New Zealand cricket team in South Africa in 2005–06, South African cricket team in Australia in 2005–06, Indian cricket team in South Africa in 2006–07
Collection: 1977 Births, Border Cricketers, Chennai Super Kings Cricketers, Commonwealth Games Competitors for South Africa, Commonwealth Games Gold Medallists for South Africa, Cricketers at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, Icc World Xi One Day International Cricketers, Kent Cricketers, Living People, People from the Eastern Cape, Recipients of the Order of Ikhamanga, South Africa One Day International Cricketers, South Africa Test Cricketers, South Africa Twenty20 International Cricketers, South African Cricketers, Sportspeople from King William's Town, Warriors Cricketers, Warwickshire Cricketers, Xhosa People
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Makhaya Ntini

Makhaya Ntini
Makhaya Ntini during a training session at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2009
Personal information
Full name Makhaya Ntini
Born (1977-07-06) 6 July 1977
Mdingi, near King William's Town, South Africa
Nickname The Mdingi Express
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right-arm fast
Role Bowler
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 269) 19 March 1998 v Sri Lanka
Last Test 26 January 2009 v England
ODI debut (cap 47) 16 January 1998 v New Zealand
Last ODI 17 April 2009 v Australia
ODI shirt no. 16
Domestic team information
Years Team
1995–2003 Border
2004–2012 Warriors
2005 Warwickshire
2008–2010 Chennai Super Kings
2010 Kent
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 101 173 190 275
Runs scored 699 199 1,284 284
Batting average 9.84 8.65 9.44 7.28
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 9
10 wickets in match 4 n/a 5 6
Best bowling 7/37 6/22 7/37 6/22
Catches/stumpings 25/– 30/– 40/– 50/–
Source: CricketArchive, 30 November 2013

Makhaya Ntini (born 6 July 1977) is a former 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 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 played domestic cricket for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League till the 2010 season.


  • Early recognition 1
  • International career 2
  • Controversy 3
  • References 4

Early recognition

Makhaya Ntini was born in Mdingi, a small village in Cape Province which is near King William's Town (currently in Eastern Cape province).[1] 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 the head of the development programme, Greg Hayes, and the pair placed Ntini in a junior cricket festival in Queenstown. For the festival, Hayes purchased Ntini his first pair of boots – but later had to give the young bowler instructions not to wear them indoors, or when herding cattle.[2]

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.[3] In the Test series, which England won 2–0, Ntini claimed nine wickets, the second-most by a South African bowler.[4] 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.[4][5] After two matches for Border against the touring Kenyans,[6] Ntini made his first-class debut in November 1995, facing an England XI.[7] He claimed two wickets in England's only innings as Border were beaten comprehensively.[8]

In his debut season, Ntini claimed 17 wickets at an average of 37.05 in first-class competitions.[9] His best performance in an innings came against Free State, when he claimed three wickets and conceded 49 runs (3/49) during his 17 overs.[10] He once 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,[11] and none in the second,[12] Ntini displayed his talent in the third match, taking 6/53 in the first innings and 3/48 in the second innings.[13]

International career

Makhaya Ntini (second right) bowls at the WACA Ground, Perth, Australia on 16 December 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. A popular figure in South African sport, Ntini was voted their favourite sportsman in a research poll conducted by the South African Press Association.[14]

A graph showing Ntini's test career bowling statistics and how they have varied over time.
Ntini at Edgbaston, 31 July 2008.

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.[15]

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 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.

Ntini retired from all forms of international cricket on 9 January 2011, in a T20 against India.[16][17]


His career looked like coming to an early end in 1999 when Ntini was charged[18] and then convicted[19] of rape—though he was finally acquitted.

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, was acquitted on appeal and successfully rebuilt his international cricket career.[20] Ntini thanked Cricket South Africa for sticking by him.[17]


  1. ^ "Player Profile: Makhayaluya Ntini".  
  2. ^ Robinson, Peter (26 November 1997). "Cricket: Cattle-herder Ntini wins his place in history".  
  3. ^ "Under-19 ODI Bowling for South Africa Under-19s: South Africa Under-19s in England 1995".  
  4. ^ a b "Under-19 Test Bowling for South Africa Under-19s: South Africa Under-19s in England 1995". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  5. ^ "Player Profile: Mark Boucher". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  6. ^ "Other matches played by Makhaya Ntini (66)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  7. ^ "First-Class Matches played by Makhaya Ntini (190)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  8. ^ "Border v England XI in 1995/96". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  9. ^ "First-class Bowling in Each Season by Makhaya Ntini". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  10. ^ "Border v Free State in 1995/96". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  11. ^ "India Under-19s v South Africa Under-19s in 1995/96". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  12. ^ "India Under-19s v South Africa Under-19s in 1995/96". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  13. ^ "India Under-19s v South Africa Under-19s in 1995/96". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  14. ^ Ntini voted South Africa's favorite sportsperson | South Africa Cricket News | ESPN Cricinfo. (30 December 2005). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  15. ^ Lgiccrankings.Com. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  16. ^ "India wins one-off T20I at Durban". IndiaVoice. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  17. ^ a b People's champ' of SA cricket retires"'" (Press release).  
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Lemke, Gary (22 June 2003). "Ntini and company ready for a sting after the sorry tales". The Independent (London). 
  20. ^ Cricinfo – Players and Officials – Makhaya Ntini. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.

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