CSA plan farewell for Ntini
Makhaya Ntini (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - South Africa fast bowler Makhaya Ntini officially announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday although he will represent his country one more time.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola announced that the best black bowler produced by the nation would wear the green and gold in a January 9 Twenty20 clash against India in Durban.
"We cannot let a great player like Makhaya say goodbye off the field so we have told the selectors to include him in that match and give fans an opportunity to bid farewell."
The appearance of Ntini will add to the uniqueness of the game as it is to be at the 70 000-seat Moses Mabhida Stadium - one of 10 venues where FIFA World Cup matches were staged this year.
CSA president Mtuthuzeli Nyoka said Ntini had succeeded against "unspeakable odds" and described him as a man of destiny.
"We salute you as a cricketer, as an African, and as a man," he said of a star whose international career spanned 11 years.
The first black to respresent his country at senior level, Ntini is the only South African to take 10 wickets at Lord's, considered by many to be the home of cricket.
Domestic newspapers reacted to the achievement by splashing pictures across front pages of Ntini on his knees kissing the hallowed turf after the achievement.
Ntini holds the South African records for the best Test bowling figures - 132/13 against the West Indies in Trinidad - and ODI figures - 23/6 against Australia in Cape Town.
The 33-year-old from the Eastern Cape made the last of 101 Test appearances in December 2009 after capturing 390 Test wickets and 266 in the one-day version of the game.
"It has been a wonderful journey for me to represent my country. I have so many great memories which I will carry for the rest of my life," Ntini said in a statement.
"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 part of the set up as a player for as long as possible," said the bowler nicknamed "Mdingi Express' after the village where he was born.
Ntini will continue to play for the Port Elizabeth-based Eastern Cape Warriors and plans to open a cricket academy in East London.
Makhaya Ntini factfile:
Date of birth: July 6 1977
Place of birth: Mdingi (Eastern Cape village)
Nickname: Mdingi Express
Bowling style: Right arm fast
Batting style: Right handed
Test appearances: 101
First Test: Sri Lanka (1998)
Last Test: England (2009)
Best figures: 132/13 West Indies (2005) South African record
ODI appearances: 173
First ODI: New Zealand (1998)
Last ODI: Australia (2009)
Best figures: 23/6 Australia (2006) South African record