Makhaya Ntini recalled being “forever lonely” during his duration in South Africa as he opened up about the racism which he faced alleging his teammates for making him feel isolated.
Former South Africa pacer Makhaya Ntini recalled on Friday being “forever lonely” during his tenure in the national team as he opened up about the racism he faced from his then teammates who made him feel isolated. The 43 year old former fast bowler claimed 390 Tests & 266 ODI wickets & played along stalwarts such as Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher & Lance Klusener among others spoke about his experience in the wake of the ”Black Lives Matter” movement which gathered momentum following the death of African-American George Floyd.
“I was forever lonely at the time,” Ntini, among the 30 former South Africa cricketers to come out in support of the BLM movement, 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. He further said that he used to avoid travelling in the team bus & preferred running 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.
“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.”
On Tuesday, Ntini, along with 30 former cricketers, signed a statement in support of the BLM movement, saying racism remains part of the game in the country.
Former South African Captain & Star batsman Faf Du Plessis expressed his solidarity with the fight against racism by saying, “All lives don’t matter until black lives matter.” South African Cricketers” Association and Cricket South Africa have also come out with statements in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement.