Makhaya Ntini junior picked to play for South Africa U19s

Thando Ntini earned a maiden call-up to the South Africa U-19 squad at a tender age of 16.

Makhaya Ntini
Makhaya Ntini. (Photo by Christopher Lee-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Former fast bowler Makhaya Ntini has taken up coaching post a legendary career with South Africa. In full swing, Ntini was a great sight to watch as he used to give it his all. He was a workhorse who never used to say no to his skipper. Ntini is now busy coaching the Zimbabwe national team as their bowling coach.

The Ntini legacy, though, has carried on in cricket as his son – Thando Ntini – is taking giant strides towards earning a national call-up for his country. Still just 16, Thando has got a maiden call-up to play for South Africa U19s. Thando, along with eight others, is new faces who are picked to play a five-match Youth ODI series against World Champions West Indies in Durban and Pietermaritzburg in July.

The squad will be led by Raynard van Tonder and consists of six players, alongside the skipper, who were a part of the team who won an ODI series against Sri Lanka U-19s in January this year. Most capped player Wandile Makwetu, who also played in the U-19 World Cup in 2016, is the most experienced player in the group of players selected for the WI series.

Coach happy with the squad picked

This series will be a closely contested one and is a perfect preparation for the U-19 World Cup scheduled to take place in 2018. Coach Lawrence Mahatane said that he was happy with the team he has got.

“Testing ourselves against the world champions is an ideal opportunity for us as a team to see where we are with the 2018 World Cup just around the corner,” Mahatlane said.

“It is an exciting team and with only six players having previously represented South Africa this is a great opportunity for those selected to showcaseHigh-performance,” he added.

High-performance manager of Cricket South Africa Vincent Barnes echoed the same views. “With the ICC Under-19 World Cup only a few months away‚ the West Indies series is a very important series for our team. There have been a few changes to the squad that beat Sri Lanka earlier this year and the West Indies‚ who are the current World Cup champions‚ will provide the required stiff opposition for the home side.”

It will be interesting to see the progress of Thando Ntini, who like his father, is also a fast bowler. Even if he ends up playing for South Africa later in his career, it will be tough to match the outstanding numbers of Ntini senior. In 101 Test matches, Ntini captured 390 wickets for his country. He also appeared in 173 ODI games and picked up a whopping 266 wickets.

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