Ntini to boost cricket in rural E Cape

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Kemantha Govender

Durban - Cricket development in the rural Eastern Cape received a boost after former Proteas fast bowler Makhaya Ntini was named the first CSA Cricket Development Ambassador.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) made the announcement on Monday during the unveiling of the newly renovated G.B Molefe hostel which houses CSA Fort Hare Cricket Academy bursary players.

Ntini is excited about his latest venture, vowing to spread the word about cricket and "bring the spotlight to the young boys and girls from the smaller areas in South Africa."

"I am very happy to continue working with CSA in this different avenue. I am very passionate about cricket, especially in the forgotten parts of South Africa in the rural areas like the one I come from," Ntini said.

Ntini will help CSA identify areas that need the most assistance to put developmental structures in place.

He will also act as an active talent scout in these areas to ensure that a steady flow of the stars of tomorrow comes from the Eastern Cape.

"Makhaya is a true ambassador of the sport. He has done more for the game of cricket than anybody in promoting the game.

"We have seen many stars come and go and we at CSA decided that when Makhaya Ntini retires, he cannot be gone completely from the world of cricket because many players still need to learn from his experience. This is why we believe that he is the perfect candidate for the post of Ambassador of Cricket Development," said CSA CEO Gerald Majola.

Ntini announced his retirement from international cricket last year. The Fort Hare Cricket Academy, which was established in 2008, offers bursaries to aspiring cricketers in the Eastern Cape.

Majola also hailed the work that is being done by former Proteas fast bowler Mfuneko Ngam with the academy in Fort Hare.

"Mfuneko is one of the hardest working foot soldiers of cricket in the Eastern Cape and the work that he has done with the academy needs to be commended. I look forward to working closely with him in the future," he said.

Majola also handed over cricket equipment to rural cricket teams.