Did you know?
Makhaya Ntini retired from international cricket with 390 wickets from 101 tests.
As you pass a certain hill in the heart of Mdantsane Township outside East London, you will see a billboard featuring a great sporting icon of South Africa: Makhaya Ntini. He runs a local sporting academy focusing on young, under-privileged cricket players.
Not only is Makhaya Ntini the first black African cricketer to represent South Africa, but for more than a decade his cheerful, on-field running commentary spurred his teammates on.
He was born on July 6, 1977, in the tiny Eastern Cape village of Mdingi. On a day in 1991, a cricket development officer called Raymond Booi was in Mdingi promoting the game to the young villagers. The 14-year-old Makhaya and his mates passed by, herding their livestock home. Booi called them over, picked Makhaya out and gave him a cricket ball to bowl. The rest, as they say, is fast-paced history.
Makhaya was plucked out of rural life and given a bursary to Dale College in King William’s Town, known to be the hotbed of young Eastern Cape cricketing talent. He was soon integrated into the Border Schools' cricketing system – and beyond.
In January 1998 Ntini made a successful international cricket debut for South Africa in a 1-day game against New Zealand. His on- and off-field mentors were the great fast bowlers Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald.
The highlight of his career came 5 years later when South Africa toured England. The Eastern Cape paceman took 10 wickets at Lords – and kissed the ‘hallowed ground’ thereafter. His name now stands for cricketing eternity on the Lords honours board.
Makhaya Ntini retired from international cricket in January 2011, but still plays for his province and works at his cricketing academy in Mdantsane, where you see the billboard of the grinning hero in cricketing whites…
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Imonti Tours (Mdantsane)
Tel: +27 (83) 487 8975
Fax: +27 (86) 694 0319