Makhaya, please accept the gratitude and appreciation of all the cricket community in Zimbabwe, for the joy and pride you brought us during your illustrious playing career.
Needless to say, you retire from international cricket with a lot of memories that you will cherish.
We want to thank you for those and to let you know that we share many of them with you.
Of course all the credit is yours because you alone remained true on the journey from the dusty environs of Mdantsane to the Mecca of world cricket that is Lord’s. You were the navigator and the pilot of your ship!
Thus, all the tributes you are receiving now are, every one of them, deserved. Please enjoy because you worked for it. Yours was a wonderful innings!
During all that time, we watched with a lot of pride as one of our neighbours took 390 Test wickets, the second best by a Protea and the 11th highest of all time – in 101 matches and 266 wickets in 173 one-day international (ODI) matches.
The only South African bowler to take 10 wickets in a Test match at the hallowed Lord’s in London, Makhaya, it is with pride too that we note that you will walk away today (Sunday) with the South African records for the best bowling figures in Test cricket, a match return of 13 for 132 versus the West Indies in Trinidad in 2005, in ODI cricket, 6 for 23 against Australia at Sahara Park Newlands in 2006, and of the most 10-wicket hauls in Tests, that total of four which you share with Dale Steyn.
Need we say more?
It is no coincidence that Cricket South Africa (CSA) is honouring you together with Sachin Tendulkar at the Standard Bank International Pro20 match for the Krish Mackerdhuj Trophy, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
An icon honoured with another icon, at a historic match for a trophy dedicated to an outstanding ambassador for South African cricket and a champion for equality, in a world-class facility.
We wish you all the best for Sunday (Sunday against India) , when you make your final appearance for the Proteas in that special Standard Bank International Pro20 match against India in Durban.
We understand you will remain available for your franchise, the Chevrolet Warriors, and wish you the best in that too.
We applaud your decision to give back to the game and pray that the Makhaya Ntini Cricket Academy in Mdantsane will emulate your career to be a vehicle of change and grow from strength to strength to become a role model for similar projects elsewhere.
We look forward to also seeing you working in other development projects such as CSA’s Tomorrow campaign to strengthen and spread the same structures through which you came.
From all of us at Zimbabwe Cricket – Makhaya: thank you for the memories, and all the best for the future. Being best yourself, you deserve only the best.
Peter Chingoka is Zimbabwe Cricket chairperson