By Zuko Komisa
Legendary cricketer Makhaya Ntini, “The Mdingi Express”, spent the afternoon with The Drive Thru team, Mosibudi Whitehead and Sandile Van Heerden this past Friday. He shared stories on his playing days and the upcoming Cricket World Cup.
Makhaya Ntini was the first black player to represent South Africa in the Cricket squad the proteas. Born in Mdingi, a small village in the Eastern Cape Province, which is near King William’s Town, Ntini has had a flourishing career as a fast bowler.
He spoke briefly about what helped him succeed as a cricketer.
“If we are wearing the same clothes, we have one thing in common and that thing for me is to win the game. No being focused on things I can’t put my mind into. Throw me a cricket ball, because I know that this is my life.”
His success over the years, he says, was based on disciplining himself to continuously stay focussed from the many distractions that come with being a prominent sports figure.
This is the same discipline he says attributes to the fall of many young athletes who lack it. Building up to the upcoming Cricket World Cup he recalls the crushing defeat that saw South Africa exit in the early stages. “In 2003 when South Africa was hosting the Cricket World cup, everything was good until we got to Durban… we were on the verge of taking South African to the next stage.”
He’s very optimistic about the current team and says the Proteas have a massive chance to win the World Cup. He encouraged the team’s bowlers to think on their feet, saying the game has changed and is not fast bowler friendly.
Listen to the full conversation here:
He predicts that the finals of this year’s tournament will be between South Africa and India.
The Cricket World Cup commences on the 30 May with a showdown between South Africa and England as the opening match. Makhaya will be part of the commentary team on Supersport who will be analyzing the action.