The man who became South Africa's first ethnic black to be included in the national side has bid adieu to international cricket. Fast bowler Makhaya Ntini announced his retirement from the game although he says he will continue to represent domestic sides. Ntini will be felicitated during the Twenty20 international between his home side and India at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Jan 9, 2011, when he will make his final appearance.
A clearly emotional Ntini, struggling to stifle his tear ducts, announced the decision at a press conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday. He reflected on his journey from being the first black national cricketer in 1998 to becoming one of South Africa's front-line bowlers.
"It has been a wonderful journey for me to represent my country," Ntini said. "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. It is also my dream to give back. 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."
Ntini has played over 100 tests for South Africa, the last of which was against England at Kingsmead in December 2009, and 173 ODIs. He finished as South Africa's second-highest test wicket-taker, after Shaun Pollock, with 390 wickets at 28.82 apiece, and has garnered 266 wickets in one-dayers.