Makhaya Ntini. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
CHENNAI: Makhaya Ntini is all set to turn into an author and, in all likelihood, he will be penning his autobiography. The former South Africa pacer revealed his plans during an Instagram live chat with Pommie Mbangwa on Friday.
“I am on the road of writing a book. I want them to hear my story. I want people to read about it, tell their kids about my story,” Ntini, who became the first ethnically black cricketer to play for South Africa, said.
Asked to trace his roots of becoming a fiery paceman, the 42-year-old said it all began when he was just 14. “I was born in a rural area called Mdingi and was only 14 when the then CSA office-bearers Dr Ali Bacher and the late Khaya Majola introduced cricket into our community. I was just lucky to be crossing the field on that particular day when they were coaching the village boys. They ended up asking me to take part in the session. So I started bowling. They saw potential in me and eventually I was asked to go for under-15 trials in Queenstown. I bowled my heart out and was chosen in the U-15 team,” Ntini recalled.
The fast bowler said his career took off from there. “Back then, England was touring South Africa and I was selected to play for the developmental squad. I took three wickets in the match for which I was chosen to train at the Don Bradman Academy in Australia. Even though I didn’t know a word of English back then in 1994, I saw this as an opportunity to learn.
“Eventually, the Don Bradman academy guys had to use a lot of sign language to make me understand what they wanted me to do. But it all went well and they informed Bacher that they were most impressed by my abilities out of four who went there. They also felt that I will be the one to represent South Africa in a year’s time. That really unlocked the door for me. I trained hard and I knew that I have to push myself harder and need that hunger in me to succeed. And it was in 1997 when Bacher informed me that I was selected for the national team,” said Ntini.