Ntini gets benefit year

HONOURED: Makhanya Ntini. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 12/12/2006. © Sowetan.
HONOURED: Makhanya Ntini. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 12/12/2006. © Sowetan.

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

The Makhaya Ntini benefit matches were announced yesterday at a function at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

The matches, which take place from June next year until July 2008 are in honour of the Proteas' right-arm fast bowler.

Ntini, player's player of the year, said: "I feel very pleased to be honoured in this way. This has encouraged me to do my best to carry the South African flag high in our next tests."

Stan Mphahlele, one of the organisers, said Ntini deserved the honour after his loyal 10 years of service as a professional.

He said the first benefit game, involving the two local teams from Border Cricket Union, will take place at Buffalo Park in East London.

The next game will be staged later in Gauteng at a date and venue still to be confirmed. It will possibly be before the ICC Pro20 World Championships set for September next year in South Africa.

Pinky Ngxulelo, one of the organisers, said the Rest of SA cricket squad will engage an international invitational side that will possibly include well-respected cricketers like Brian Lara of West Indies and India's Sachin Tendulkar.

All money that will be generated will go towards the Makhaya Ntini Trust Fund. Part of it will be donated to a children's home in King William's Town, said Ngxulelo.