Ntini set to make history

2009-12-14 22:45

Centurion - When South African fast bowler Makhaya Ntini steps onto the field at the start of the first Castle Test against England at Supersport Park on Wednesday, he will make history by becoming the first black South African to earn 100 Test caps.

Ntini is only the fifth South African to achieve this distinction - after Jacques Kallis (130), Mark Boucher (125), Shaun Pollock (108) and Gary Kirsten (101) and only the sixth fast bowler around the world to make 100 Test appearances.

"At the start of my career, I never dreamt of playing for South Africa," Ntini told journalists on Monday.

"Being one of the only black players to come from a rural area and play for South Africa - you can't explain it, it is history on its own.

"I feel so proud - there are not many of us who have made it to 100 Test caps."

He attributed his success over the years to hard work.

"People who live in my area know how hard I work to keep fit," he said.

"I'm always on my bicycle, or running or working to keep fit. I'm very proud that I have had no serious injuries over the 12 years I have been playing Test cricket, and that is because I work very hard at keeping fit.

"Cricket is my job and for me to succeed I have to put a lot into it." The paceman needs just 12 wickets to become only the second South African, after Shaun Pollock, to take 400 Test wickets. Asked whether he hoped to achieve this milestone during the Test series against England, Ntini replied that he was hoping to take 34.

"I've taken 13 wickets in one Test before, so I know I can take 12 in a match. But what I want is another 34 wickets so that I can overtake Shaun Pollock."

He said he had no immediate plans to retire.

"I'd like to play another 20 years," he joked. "But when my body tells me I've had enough, that's when I'll stop."

Ntini said when he became the first black African to play Test cricket for South Africa, the significance of his achievement had not sunk in immediately.

"I don't think I realised how important it was," he said.

"I was still trying to find my feet. It was still a white dominated sport, and for me to stick around was quite hard. But then I realised that I belong in this country and I belong in this sport."

Ntini's early career nearly came to an abrupt end when he was found guilty of rape in 1999. However, the verdict was overturned on appeal and Ntini returned to rebuild his career.

"I try to take the negative things and turn them into positives," he said. "I think you can use them to make you a better person."

Ntini said South Africa were determined to win the four-Test series against England and regain their position as number one Test nation, which they lost to India earlier this month.

"Losing our number one spot puts quite a lot of pressure on our shoulders," he said. "But we believe, as long as the weather is good, we can beat England and take that position back."


  • Ken - 2009-12-14 17:33

    A shining example to our country and our youth. Congrats you deserve it. See what can be achieved against all odds with effort and dedication!

  • Dave - 2009-12-14 17:35

    Congratulations Mackie on your milestone. It is always a pleasure to watch you bowling and hopefully SA's attack will fire.

  • Z - 2009-12-14 17:43

    Another arrogant statement before the Proteas actually start playing the game...Good luck. Right now thats what the Chokeas need.

  • johnny la rue - 2009-12-14 17:53

    way to go Ntini, you have done well. Shwoogy's are great

  • Wayne - 2009-12-14 18:04

    Well Done - you are a role model South Africa can be so proud of

  • Jhazzman - 2009-12-14 18:06

    Congrats buddy, you deserve all the praise. Hard word pays off in the End. No matter where you apply it.

  • Simon - 2009-12-14 18:29

    Congrats Macatini - you have always been one of my favourite cricketers... well, sportsmen actually.

  • Azi Banzi - 2009-12-14 18:38

    Well done Macky... We will be rooting for you from yo hometown East London. It's very true that u work hard to keep fit- u r my spinning instructor at gym when u r in town. All the very best and continue to shine. East Londoners love you dearly

  • Chris - 2009-12-14 18:43

    A milestone that is richly deserved. If only you could inspire a few of the other lard-arses that currently make up the team, with your guts, determination, will to win and fitness levels, maybe the team would'nt be slipping back down the rankings.

  • Adriaan S - 2009-12-14 18:54

    Legend, Respect

  • Jan van der westhuizen - 2009-12-14 18:59

    Well done. You are one of the nicest guys around and a world class bowler. You wouldnt have gone so far if you were not a world class player.

  • Stephen - 2009-12-14 19:05

    @Z, you are the only one that is arrogant. Does the Z stand for Zero

  • Dubai Bok - 2009-12-14 19:05

    Makhaya ek laaik jou baaie!! Well done Makhaya, we are all very proud of you and your a true championa and legend in my eyes. The Mdingi Express!! You beauty you!

  • gcr - 2009-12-14 19:09

    One of the few consistent players in the Proteas, a really hard worker, and a delight to watch on the field. Now can we try really hard to win the first test

  • Rudolf - 2009-12-14 19:09

    All of the best Makhaya!!

  • Shana - 2009-12-14 19:12

    Good lesson from MN, at times we have to work hard to realise our dreams. Best wishes in your carrier

  • WTF - 2009-12-14 19:29

    Go get 'em!

  • Sparky - 2009-12-14 19:31

    Awesome, well done!! Glad to see we have a bowler with some heart back. My opinion, one of the best we ever had and I hope you do overtake Polly. You da man!

  • nadia69 - 2009-12-14 20:00

    Stephen Z is more than arrogant - he must be a Brit, the lowest form of life...

  • LEBO - 2009-12-14 20:01


  • edward - 2009-12-14 20:05

    The fact that i believe he is past his best is irrelevent. He has been a great servant for South Africa and for cricket as a whole.This England team has the weakest batting lineup in world cricket and there is no reason why he can't finish his career with a flourish I would not expect him to finsh with less than twenty wickets in the series. Once again well done you are a credit to the game

  • @edward - 2009-12-14 20:57

    Are you the same idiot who cannot accept that Boucher is past his best? Easy to take a cheap shot at Mackie. Yes his form of late has not been encouraging but he certainly steps up to the plate when required. Rather worry that the big white hope read Steyn gets his act together. Mackie you are THE role model cricketer. Your dedication and hard work against all the odds will forever be remembered in our cricket history. You deserve to be the alltime leading wickettaker in SA.

  • Qaqa - 2009-12-14 20:58

    You are a great cricketer, best wishes for your milestone. Congrats!

  • Donald Mathray - 2009-12-14 22:03

    Hi Ntini Thanks for all those outstanding performances. Every wicket you took was a celebration on its own. I hope that you take the 12 wickets you so richly deserve. Best of luck.Rip through the Pommies.

  • Bryan - 2009-12-14 23:45

    tx for the many wickets "george" i know you will give the pommies a hard time. do me one favour bowl KP against his bif fat nogger.

  • DJ - 2009-12-15 00:41

    Wel gedaan Makya - jy verdien dit na al jou "effort" wat jy deur die jare ingesit het. As ALMAL so hard wil werk kan SA net 'n reuse sukses wees.

  • Shining? - 2009-12-15 01:20

    And didn't this shining example start off his career by getting a break on a rape charge?

  • Kevin Williams - 2009-12-15 05:40

    I love this article........Need to see more of it... It's about time.....Why should it be that we have to break our bones and arms to get somewhere ? Hard work should be rewarded..ALWAYS

  • Hein - 2009-12-15 06:38

    Black or white Ntini your dinemite well done mate hope to see you soon send regards to Gibs

  • werner .E - 2009-12-15 07:35

    baie geluk mackie! hoop jy vat daardie 12 paaltjies en wys daardie pommies n ding of twee!

  • Gerald - 2009-12-15 07:41

    MK you're a true legend. I certainly hope you become the highest wicket taker for SA, go get those 34 rock my brother!!

  • Semloh - 2009-12-15 07:42

    @Z oh please for calling the Ntini statement arrogant. Read the actual lines "we believe we can beat england and take the position back" - whats wrong with believing in yourself? he is not saying we will! Well done Ntini, I just hope you dont let the big occasion get the better of you, we need you to strike early along with Steyn.

  • Kay - 2009-12-15 08:07

    Way to go Makhaya, hard work always pays!!!!

  • Stefan - 2009-12-15 08:29

    Why "the first black South African". The four other players did it long after apartheid so why should there be a difference between black and white. Don't call him the first black player to do it, just stick to him being the 5th South African. If you say he is the 1st Black Sout African it sounds like black players are are on a lower level. Stop using double standards. What's next, Kallis was the first blonde player,Pollock the first red haired player,Kirsten the first bald player and Boucher the first player under 5 foot 9 to play 100 tests.Silly!!!

  • Melusi - 2009-12-15 08:35

    You did make yourself proud in the meant time you inspired the youth of today

  • manutius - 2009-12-15 08:40

    Way to go dude. It is great to see people emerge who are not just tokens but have their place based on talent and man do you have talent. Sure you'll pass Polly,

  • JS - 2009-12-15 08:53

    Well done Makhaya, you are a star and I hope you get all the wickets you wish for. You deserve it! Your dedication to the sport is outstanding.

  • Lily White - 2009-12-15 09:32

    I like him. A LOT! Besides becoming one of the best fast bowlers in the world, and amazing us over the year(who can forget the Lords game when he took 10 wickets in a game), he is also a bright beacon for all the youth on dedication and hard work. Congrats Ntini. You are my hero. Thank you.

  • Gary Clark - 2009-12-15 10:05

    Good luck Mac, I will be watching you in Centurion,CT and the Wanderers.

  • Wiggle - 2009-12-15 10:50

    ...need Gibbs to get his 100 - only 10 away - brilliant, awesome, fabulous hey - MT - be strong mate - poms gonna make it bloody difficult for you KP and the new ones

  • TEBOGO - 2009-12-15 11:56


  • Kobus - 2009-12-15 12:08

    Can somebody please give me the motivation (facts) behind the inclusion of Ntini. I also think he has a great heart and all the good things we can expect of a Springbok cricketer, but is he the best we have?

  • musa - 2009-12-15 12:56

    SA doesn't need idiots like Shining, Kobus & Z you guys are disgusting....Idiots

  • gibbs - 2009-12-15 13:09


  • THABANG - 2009-12-15 13:58

    kobus go to dutchland u moron u dont know anything about life take a toilet paper n hang yoself

  • Dean - 2009-12-15 14:39

    I hope he takes the12 wickets he needs to reach 400 in the match! The oke is a legend. I was in Perth when we beat the Ozzies - it was one of the best sports-feelings ever - and Makhaya was the only one from both teams that came over and signed autographs and chatted with us. I am proud to be South African and call Makhaya the same.

  • pummy - 2009-12-17 08:13

    i like watching, you make me ptoud to be a south african. i like your energy, enthusiams, and best the joy you potray after taking a wicket. keep it up!!!!!

  • Cathy - 2009-12-17 17:05

    Who is South Africa's leading wicket taker in test matches

  • wanda daza - 2010-02-12 09:25

    I totaly des agree with ntini being kicked out fthe team,why wasn't this done to players like Heshell gibbs when they were out of form,he should be given a second chance.

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