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  5. 'It sucks to hear' - Makhaya Ntini's son Thando reveals father's battle against racism in South African team

'It sucks to hear' - Makhaya Ntini's son Thando reveals father's battle against racism in South African team

Makhaya Ntini was the first-ever black player to play for the South African men's national cricket team. He made his international debut in an ODI game against New Zealand in Perth in January 1998.

Kumar Rupesh Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Published on: February 05, 2024 10:57 IST
Makhaya Ntini (left) and Thando Ntini (right).
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Makhaya Ntini (left) and Thando Ntini (right).

Makhaya Ntini's son Thando Ntini dropped a bombshell during his appearance on a podcast named 'The Load Shed' recently that his father had to wage a tough battle against racism during his time with the South African men's cricket team.

"A couple of years back he (Makhaya) actually spoke out he just felt like he was constantly fighting for his life. The only guy there you know I understand he probably felt lonely. It sucks to hear him when he can count with his hands how many times he was invited to a dinner with the gents," Thando said.

"You know when you go on tour and when you arrive you make plans about ‘okay guys we’re going to go to a certain place for dinner’, you are keen (but) he never had someone knock at his door and be like ‘You keen to join us for dinner?’ So it just felt like for him it was always survival mode and just trying to create a future for himself and his family," he added.

Thando also revealed that his father is always reluctant to detail his struggles as the first black player ever to play for the Rainbow Nation so that it doesn't create a hostile environment for him (Thando).

“Post cricket, he doesn’t speak about it. He doesn’t want to create a hostile environment for me in the industry because of the stuff that he says. At the end of the day most of the coaches in our system have either played with him or the ex-players or whatever,” he mentioned.

“When he speaks to me he’s just like ‘I keep quiet to protect you so that you can have a long-lasting career and I want you to have a smooth career and you make your own mistakes,” he added.

Notably, Ntini is still the third-leading wicket-taker for the Proteas in the red-ball format with 390 scalps behind Dale Steyn (439 wickets) and Shaun Pollock (421 wickets). He is also the fourth-leading wicket-taker for the Proteas in the ODI format with 265 poles in 172 games behind Pollock (387), Allan Donald (272) and Jacques Kallis (269).

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