Former South African fast bowler Makhaya Ntini has only come out about his alleged racism with the national team now because he feared losing his spot in the national team had he spoken out about racism during his playing days.
This he said while announcing with the Eastern Cape Sports, recreation, arts and culture (Dsrac) MEC Fezeka Nkomonye the re-launch of his cricket academy in Mdantsane.
Ntini weighed in on the issue of racism in cricket after Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi was criticised by some former players for his support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Ntini recalled how he always felt alone and would exclude himself to fill the void after matches.
Speaking at the DSRAC district office in East London CBD said on Thursday, Ntini said no-one from Cricket SA has approached him since opening up about his experience.
I was alone, there was no one I could tell and talk to, so I had to find a way because cricket was the only way I could make a living, and I had to make sure, for me to stay longer, I had to avoid certain things in life
“I was alone, there was no-one I could tell and talk to, so I had to find a way because cricket was the only way I could make a living, and I had to make sure, for me to stay longer, I had to avoid certain things in life.”
He said the mindset in all sports across the county needed to be reset.
“When these black lives matters movement came through, that is when they also attacked Ngidi and I could not watch that. What I did was to pick up the phone and call Ngidi not to go on social media, and I spoke to him personally and I spoke to him and we agreed and I had to lay my words to him not to feel ashamed.”
He said the current crop of black players in the national team needed to protect each other. “ We had no-one to protect us, One thing we should understand is that the guys now need to enjoy the fruit of what we are planting.”
Nkomonye said the was no budget allocation from the department to the academy yet. “We will knock on all doors. We have started engagements with the national minister in terms of prioritising our funds.”
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