New Delhi: Herschelle Gibbs and Makhaya Nitini may have been two of the most fascinating cricketers to have played for South Africa but were contrasting characters, feels former South African cricket board boss Dr Ali Bacher.
"Herschelle is one of the most talented cricketers to have ever played for South Africa. If he had the dedication, determination and discipline of Steve Waugh, he would have been one of the game`s greats," Bacher told reporters on the sidelines of the RSD World Cricket Summit organised in memory of the late Raj Singh Dungarpur.
"He was a phenomenal talent but then people in South Africa are not surprised with his shocking revelations because they know that`s how Herschelle is," he added.
Talking about Ntini, Bacher was a touch emotional. "Considering the humble background from which Makhaya came, he has achieved a lot. He became one of the finest fast bowlers of his generation. He was an epitome of hard work and dedication. Not only for the black cricketers but also for the white South Africans. He was a totally contrasting character from Herschelle," Bacher said.
As the discussion veered towards cricket administration, the former United Cricket Board of South Africa (now Cricket South Africa) president welcomed former Indian captain Anil Kumble`s entry into cricket administration.
"It`s nice to know that people like Kumble, Javagal Srinath have entered cricket administration. It`s good for the game. Kumble is one of the finest gentlemen to have graced the cricket field. He is knowledgeable, sober, educated and will certainly make a difference," stated Bacher.
Bacher, during whose tenure India first toured the Rainbow Nation in 1991 92, feels that the upcoming series will be an exciting one considering both the teams have some world class batsmen.
"If you have (Graeme) Smith, (Jacques) Kallis and (Hashim) Amla on one side and (Rahul) Dravid and (VVS) Laxman on the other hand, you can expect a great contest," Bacher said.
"I don`t believe that only fast bowlers will win you Test matches in South Africa. If you look at the England vs South Africa series, it was off-spinner Graeme Swann who emerged as the best bowler," he said.