Smith hails 'pioneer' Ntini
South African captain Graeme Smith has paid tribute to Makhaya Ntini who has retired from international cricket.
Last Updated: 03/11/10 5:21pm
South African captain Graeme Smith has paid tribute to Makhaya Ntini following the paceman's decision to end his international career.
Ntini officially announced his retirement on Tuesday, although he will represent his country one more time in a January 9 Twenty20 clash against India in Durban.
"Makhaya epitomised what the Proteas stood for and has been a great servant to the game both on and off the field," said Smith in a statement released by South Africa's team management.
"I am most grateful to have been part of his career and successes and wish him all of the best with his life after international cricket."
The 33-year-old Ntini, who has played under Smith since 2003, made the last of 101 Test appearances in December 2009 after capturing 390 Test wickets. He also claimed 266 one-day victims.
"He brought so much energy and laughter to the team, not forgetting that he is one of the fittest players I know, and as a captain it was always a pleasure to be able to call on him," added Smith.
"I am so proud of his achievements, his records speak for themselves, and he leaves behind a lasting legacy for many to aspire to.
"He has been a pioneer for youngsters out there and has represented every South African while he has donned the Protea jersey."