Ntini leaves a lasting legacy, says proud Smith

Last Updated: Nov 03, 2010, 08:58 AM IST

Johannesburg: South Africa captain Graeme Smith paid tribute to Makhaya Ntini after the fast bowler announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday.

"I am so proud of his achievements, his records speak for themselves and he leaves behind a lasting legacy for many to aspire to," Smith told reporters after his team beat Pakistan by two runs in a one-day international in Dubai.

"He has been a pioneer for youngsters and has represented every South African while he donned a Proteas jersey. Makhaya epitomised what the Proteas stood for and has been a great servant to the game," added Smith.

"I am most grateful to have been part of his career and successes and wish him all the best with his life after international cricket."

Smith said Ntini, who captured 390 wickets in 101 tests and another 266 victims in 173 one-dayers, was always good for team morale.

"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," said the opening batsman.

Ntini is to carry on playing domestic cricket and will also help to develop a new generation of players through his work with a cricket academy.

Bureau Report