August 12, 2008

South Africa in England 2008

England can learn from Makhaya Ntini

George Binoy

Outside the Eastern Cape where his talent first emerged, Makhaya Ntini is not a name that comes immediately to mind when great fast bowlers are discussed. Yet this lithe and predatory athlete has demanded a place at the top table by the one yardstick with which no one can argue, writes Christopher Martin-Jenkins in the Times.

Ntini links the Donald and Pollock era with the new one of Morkel and Steyn. The first black cricketer to play Test cricket for South Africa when he appeared against Sri Lanka in Cape Town in 1998, he has also greatly helped to ease the transition towards a multiracial team picked these days purely on merit. A little like the prolific Courtney Walsh, he is no one's idea of a thoroughbred - more a workhouse of extraordinary stamina - but he has more victims than the more highly rated Allan Donald.

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George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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