Feb 7 (IndiaToday) – Former South Africa pacer Makhaya Ntini’s son, Thando, made shocking racist revelations regarding his father’s cricketing career with the Rainbow Nation men’s side in the early 2000s.
Makhaya took 390 Test and 266 ODI wickets while playing alongside stalwarts such as Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Lance Klusener amongst others in his decade-old international career.
Thando, while speaking on a podcast, The Load Shed, has revealed that his father does not like talking about his cricket career with the South African Men’s cricket team.
Thando said that Makhaya Ntini, who was South Africa’s first black Test cricketer, had to constantly fight for his recognition and respect in the team.
Makhaya’s son, Thando, revealed the extent of these difficulties, highlighting the isolation his father experienced while part of the South African team. Thando’s encounters with racism, including an incident that nearly prevented him from attending an Under-19 camp, underscore the systemic issues within the sport.
“He was constantly fighting for his life in that team, every day. Being the only [black] guy there, it sucks to hear [when he says] he can how many times he was invited to a dinner with the gents..Even though he was good enough,” Thando said.
MAKHAYA’s OWN WORDS
The conversation around race in South African cricket gained renewed attention in 2020 when Makhaya Ntini shared his personal experiences in an interview following Lungi Ngidi’s call for the team to address racial inequality.
Ntini spoke candidly about the loneliness he felt, emphasizing the lack of camaraderie and exclusion from social activities with teammates, such as being invited to dinner.
“I was forever lonely at the time,” Ntini had said in an interview with ‘‘South African Broadcasting Corporation’’.
“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),” he added.
Ntini said he used to avoid travelling on the team bus and preferred running to the stadium to deal with the isolation.
“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,” he said.
These revelations from both Makhaya and Thando Ntini shed light on the persistent fight against racism in cricket, a battle that extends beyond the pitch and into the very fabric of team dynamics and societal attitudes.