Makhaya Ntini announced international retirement

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The Independent Online

Veteran fast bowler Makhaya Ntini has retired from international cricket with immediate effect, bringing down the curtain on a South Africa career that has lasted more than 10 years.

The 33-year-old announced his decision in Johannesburg today, where he also confirmed plans to continue playing domestic cricket for the Warriors.

Ntini celebrated his 100th Test cap in the first Test against England at Centurion last December before being dropped after playing one more time in Durban due to a loss of form.

He was the first black cricketer to represent his country and went on to take 390 Test wickets - second on South Africa's all-time list and 11th in the history of the game.

The Eastern Cape cricketer also took 266 wickets in 173 one-dayers for the Proteas.

Ntini said today: "It has been a wonderful journey for me to represent my country.

"I have so many great memories, which I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

"My career is by no means over. It just means that internationally my time has come to hang up my boots.

"Domestic cricket is thriving at the moment, and I want to be a part of the set-up, as a player, for as long as possible."

Ntini's 13 for 132 against the West Indies in Trinidad in 2005 remains the best match analysis by a South African, while he also holds the record of best ODI figures - six for 23 against Australia at Newlands in 2006.

He is also the only player from his country to take 10 wickets in a Test match at Lord's.

Ntini outlined plans to work towards the development of the game in South Africa.

He added: "It is also my dream to give back. The Makhaya Ntini Cricket Academy in Mdantsane is gathering momentum, and I am keen to put more energy into the project, and let it be a vehicle for change.

"I am currently in discussions with CSA (Cricket South Africa) about getting involved with their TOMORROW campaign, and give back to its cricket development programmes, which are the same structures I came through."

CSA, meanwhile confirmed plans to honour Ntini at an historic Twenty20 international against India to be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium - one of the football World Cup venues - in Durban in January.

The organisation's chief executive Gerald Majola said: "Makhaya is the most popular sportsman in the country, and he deserves to bow out of international cricket in fine style.

"I cannot think of a better send-off, with over 50,000 people expected at Moses Mabhida stadium for this commemorative match.

"A new era in the Makhaya Ntini legacy is about to be born, and CSA is excited to work with Makhaya, in helping shape tomorrow."