Sport

WATCH | Makhaya Ntini weighs in on racism in cricket: 'I was forever lonely'

WATCH | Makhaya Ntini weighs in on racism in cricket: 'I was forever lonely'

Former Proteas cricketer Makhaya Ntini says the mindset in cricket needs to be reset.

The legendary fast bowler recently 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 told SABC on Friday that the lingering racism in cricket should be tackled and that he fully supports Ngidi and the Black Lives Matter movement.

He also lifted the lid on some of the encounters he faced when he was part of the national team.

Ntini recalled how he always felt alone and would exclude himself to fill the void.

“I was forever lonely,” said Ntini. “I would watch friends calling each other and making plans right in front of me and I would not be invited. I would even see them walk inside the breakfast room and not come sit next to me. We played in the same team and shared the same bus but I always felt alone.”

Ntini said after a long time experiencing the loneliness in the team, he had to find a way to overcome it.

“I had to find a way and that way became the best weapon of my life,” he said, adding that he would run to the stadium and back to the hotel to avoid being lonely on the team bus.

“I would give the bus driver my bag and say to him, 'I'll meet you at the ground'. The same thing on my way back, I would give the bus driver my dirty clothes and say to him, 'I see you at the hotel. I will run all the way back to the hotel'," he said.

Ntini said his son, Thando Ntini, who played as a bowler for Cape Cobras, experienced the same thing.

TimesLIVE reported that Ntini was part of the 31 prominent current and former cricket players of colour who have called on Cricket SA to confront the issue of racial divisions in the sport.

The 31 Proteas and five senior coaches include Vernon Philander‚ Ashwell Prince‚ Paul Adams‚ JP Duminy‚ Charl Langeveldt and Herschelle Gibbs.

Watch Ntini's full interview below.