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.

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  • Dan on June 2, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    Even if the SA selectors don't have a place for Makhaya in there set up, they should at least tell the man, who has been a big part of the rise of South African cricket. They owe hime that at least. Don't worry Makhaya, we will have you down at Kent, WE LOVE YOU!

  • Sriram on June 2, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    Intresting that he never questioned the CSK management as to why he was a baggage in both IPL 2 and 3, probably because he was paid well and taken care of. I missed him badly in IPL as im a big time CSK fan. Ntini brings awesome enthusiasm on to the field, but he surprising he never voiced his opinions when omitted from IPL totally.

  • Venkata on June 2, 2010, 2:34 GMT

    truly a legend but i think he's lost some pace, and rhythm as well. it would be really tough for him to make a come back. he has been bowling very well in the counties but international cricket is different. i would suggest makhaya that he probably can train the youngsters in sa which would prove his worth. he is one of the few fast bowlers who have played 100 tests which the great " white lightening" didn't play and his stamina is unmatched and he has carried forward the production of quality of fast bowlers in sa in which they are traditionally good. we still love you makhaya.....

  • Hamish on June 1, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    Makhaya seems to have lost the venom in his bowling in recent years - it would be difficult at his age as a fast bowler to make a serious comeback. Courntey Walsh and Glen McGrath are the exceptions, but they relied on immaculate line and length to trouble the batsmen. Also who do you leave out? Steyn, Morkel, and Kallis + Harris leaves one spot really open. Surely better to give a young player like Parnel, who has the left arm variety to establish himself.

  • Dummy4 on June 1, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    well said makhaya .... u hav the intnl talent .... keep up the spirit ... rsa needs u .......

  • Varun on June 1, 2010, 17:37 GMT

    I do agree with Makhaya in terms of the way, the South African selectors go about their business. However, for him to make a come back he would have to put in more consistent performances in the near future; especially because reduction in speed and age are standing on the negative side of things for him.

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