Johannesburg: Paceman Makhaya Ntini, South Africa’s second-highest Test wicket-taker and an immensely popular cricketer, on Tuesday announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket, bringing the curtains down on a glittering career spanning 12 years.
The 33-year-old speedster, who last represented his country in December 2009, will play for the Proteas one final time in a Twenty20 international against India at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on January 9.
Ntini played 101 Tests, the last against England at Kingsmead in December 2009, and 173 ODIs. He finished as South Africa’s second-highest Test wicket-taker with 390 victims, behind another veteran Shaun Pollock, and third highest in ODIs with 266 wickets.
Ntini announced his decision to quit at a press conference here but maintained that he will continue to represent his domestic side.
“It has been a wonderful journey for me to represent my country. I have so many great memories, which I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” said an emotional Ntini.
“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,” said Ntini, the first black cricketer to play for South Africa in 1998.
“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. I am currently in discussions with CSA about getting involved with their ‘Tomorrow’ campaign, and give back to its cricket development programmes, which are the same structures I came through,” said the fast bowler.
In September this year, Ntini had taken the decision to launch a cricket academy under his own name in the Eastern Cape.
He also featured for Indian Premier League side Chennai Super Kings and also played for the T20 side in the Champions League.