South Africa news June 1, 2010

Ntini hits out at South Africa selectors

Cricinfo staff

Makhaya Ntini feels he is uncertain of his standing in South Africa's plans, having not heard from the selectors since he was dropped from the national side for the last two Tests of the England series in January.

After being dropped he bounced back immediately, helping the Warriors win the MTN40 and the Standard Bank Pro20 and recently starring for Kent in the first division of the County Championship with 24 wickets in five games at 19.75.

Ntini was hoping that a good outing in county cricket could prod the South Africa selectors into rethinking their decision but he told the Kent website that he is unclear of his position.

"My main reason for coming was to show that I am still capable of doing a good job and was not going downhill," he said.

"I'm slightly disappointed because I've never been told by Cricket South Africa that they don't need me - yet they didn't come to watch me with Kent. I would like them to tell me what I should be working on and to help me get back in."

Ntini, 32, is a giant of South African cricket, having taken 390 Test wickets in 101 games, but there was a feeling that his best days were behind him after he was unable to finish the England tail off in the drawn first Test at Centurion in December and he performed badly the game after, which South Africa lost by an innings and 98 runs. Over the last two years Ntini has played 14 Tests and taken just 46 wickets at 36.02, which compares unfavourably with his overall average of 28.82.

Yet Ntini insists the decision was harsh, saying "it is unfair to drop someone for failing in one Test match." It was thought, at the time he was left out, that he would retire and join Middlesex but he instead vowed to earn back a place in the national side. He did not feature, however, in South Africa's following series, against India, and was not included in their squad to tour West Indies.

Instead South Africa opted for three inexperienced pacemen - Ryan McLaren, Wayne Parnell and Lonwabo Tsotsobe - to back up the two new-ball bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in the Test squad.