Was forever lonely during my time in South Africa team, reveals Makhaya Ntini

Was forever lonely during my time in South Africa team, reveals Makhaya Ntini

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Makhaya Ntini recalls racism he faced in his time in SA cricket



Former South Africa quick Makhaya Ntini, who retired from international cricket in 2011, has revealed that he was ‘forever lonely’ in his time with the national cricket team. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, Ntini recalled the racism he had to face from his former teammates.

As the Black Lives Matter movement came to the forefront, many South African cricketers had come forward in support of the movement. Among current cricketers, Lungi Ngidi, Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen were the ones who backed the BLM movement. In this regard, former fast-bowler Makhaya Ntini recalled his time in the South Africa cricket team when, according to him, he was "forever lonely" as he faced racism by his then teammates. Ntini, who recorded 390 Test and 266 ODI wickets, remembered feeling isolated around his South Africa teammates. 

"I was forever lonely at the time. Nobody knocked on my door to go for dinner. Teammates used to make plans right in front of me, skipping me out. When walking into the breakfast room, nobody came to sit with me. We wear the same uniform and sing the same national anthem, but I had to overcome (the isolation)," said in an interview with 'South African Broadcasting Corporation'. 

"I used to see the driver of the team bus, give him my bag, and then I would run to the cricket ground. I did the same thing on the way back, I just ran back instead. People never understood why I did that, I never told them what I was trying to avoid. It became my best thing, I didn't have to face any of it. I was running away from the loneliness. If I was sitting at the back of the bus, they would go and sit at the front. Whenever we won, it was joyful – but I was the first to be blamed whenever we lost." 

The 43-year-old, who was among 30 former South Africa cricketers who expressed their support with the BLM movement, also revealed that his son Thando, too, faced racism in his time at the U-19 camp. 

"My son Thando has also experienced this, he was almost stopped from going on an U19 camp (on false pretenses)," he added.

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