Ntini calls time on Proteas
South African fast bowler Makhaya Ntini has retired from international cricket but will continue at domestic level.
Last Updated: 02/11/10 5:24pm
South African fast bowler Makhaya Ntini has retired from international cricket.
Ntini, the first black African to represent his country, finished with 390 wickets at 28.82 in 101 Tests, placing him second behind Shaun Pollock among South Africa's all-time wicket takers - and 11th in the history of the game.
He plans to continue his career at domestic level for the Warriors.
As a 20-year-old in 1998, Ntini was fast tracked for a Test debut against Sri Lanka in Cape Town under Hansie Cronje's captaincy.
He developed into one of the most consistent seamers in the world over the next few years, despite an unorthodox angle of attack that saw him jump wide of the crease in his delivery stride - a legacy of the concrete pitches of his youth.
No fast bowler took more Test wickets during the decade from 2000 and Ntini's haul of 13-132 against the West Indies in Trinidad in 2005 remains the best match analysis by a South African, while he also owns his country's best one-day international figures - 6-23 against Australia at Newlands in 2006.
He is the only South African to take 10 wickets in a Test at Lord's, where he bowled the Proteas to an innings victory in 2003.
Ntini, who had a remarkable fitness record over the years, celebrated his 100th Test cap against England at Centurion last December before being dropped after playing one more time in Durban due to a loss of form.
"It has been a wonderful journey for me to represent my country," said the 33-year-old, who took 266 wickets at 24.65 in 173 one-day internationals.
"I have so many great memories, which I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
"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 a part of the set-up, as a player, for as long as possible."
Ntini is keen to continue working towards the development of the game in South Africa.
"It is also my dream to give back," he added. "The Makhaya Ntini Cricket Academy in Mdantsane is gathering momentum, and I am keen to put more energy into the project, and let it be a vehicle for change.
"I am currently in discussions with CSA (Cricket South Africa) about getting involved with their TOMORROW campaign, and give back to its cricket development programmes, which are the same structures I came through."
CSA, meanwhile confirmed plans to honour Ntini at an historic Twenty20 international against India to be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium - one of the football World Cup venues - in Durban in January.
"Makhaya is the most popular sportsman in the country, and he deserves to bow out of international cricket in fine style," said CSA's chief executive Gerald Majola.
"I cannot think of a better send-off, with over 50,000 people expected at Moses Mabhida stadium for this commemorative match.
"A new era in the Makhaya Ntini legacy is about to be born, and CSA is excited to work with Makhaya, in helping shape tomorrow."