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Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:13 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Makhaya Ntini


Born July 6, 1977, Mdingi, nr King William's Town, Cape Province


Major teams South Africa, Border, Chennai Super Kings, ICC World XI, Kent, Warwickshire


Also known as George


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast

Makhaya Ntini

Makhaya Ntini seemed to possess few of the standard attributes of the successful fast bowler. He packs neither express pace, nor the drip torture of infallible accuracy, nor a quiver brimming with variation. What he does have, though, is almost 400 Test wickets.


Ntini relies on relentlessness, which requires him to strive for levels of fitness not previously countenanced by cricketers, and an unfailingly ebullient character, which buoys him with hope and aggression long after bowlers of lesser body and mind have conceded defeat. These fine qualities made him the heart of the South African attack and the soul of the entire team.


Mainstream cricket in South Africa was under pressure to prove itself worthy of attention beyond its hitherto largely white niche when Ntini emerged from the backwaters of the Eastern Cape in 1993. The script was straight out of Hollywood. Ntini was discovered by the then United Cricket Board's (UCB) development programme. His next stop was Dale College, a prestigious school where cricket's roots run deep. Dale was not far from Ntini's home village of Mdingi, but it was a place beyond youngsters of his humble station.


By the southern summer of 1997-98 season, Ntini was South Africa's first black African international cricketer. But his career seemed over, or at best hanging by a thread, when he was convicted of rape in 1999. He protested his innocence vehemently and consistently and, with the support of the UCB, was acquitted on appeal.


Ntini returned to action after almost 20 months in the wilderness, and was a fixture in the national team for the next 10 years. In 2003, he became the first South African to take 10 wickets in a Lord's Test. Five years later he owned the best Test match figures by a South African: Ntini's haul of 13 for 132 against the West Indies under Port-of-Spain's blazing sun and on a not particularly lively Queen's Park Oval pitch was the perfect précis of his career.


His 100th Test, against England at Centurion in December 2009, was celebrated with gusto across the country. But it proved to be his last hurrah. Ntini was ineffective, and he was dropped for the last two Tests of the England series. He insisted he would give his all, as he always did, to get back into the side but the team had moved on. Eleven months later he announced his international retirement, but his place in South Africa history had long-since been secured.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:12 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Johannes Albertus Morkel


Born June 10, 1981, Vereeniging, Transvaal


Major teams South Africa, Africa XI, Chennai Super Kings, Durham, Easterns, South Africa Under-19s, Titans


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm medium-fast


Relation Father - A Morkel, Brother - M Morkel

Johannes Albertus Morkel

Albie Morkel, a right-arm fast-medium bowler and left-handed batsman, was earmarked as the new Lance Klusener, but hasn't quite been able to live up to his billing despite some glimpses of match-winning skills.


Morkel comes from a cricketing family, with father Albert having played for Transvaal B and his brother Morne having also played for South Africa. He rose to prominence playing for his provincial side Easterns against the touring West Indians in 2003-04 when he defied food poisoning to score a century and take five wickets at Benoni.


Ray Jennings, his provincial coach and a former South African wicketkeeper, predicted that Morkel would become a world-class allrounder, and Morkel was given his first taste of international action when picked for the tour of New Zealand in 2003-04. However, his early career brought only a glimpse of his talent and he always looked a perfect Twenty20 cricketer.


He made his Test debut for South Africa against Australia in the third Test in Cape Town in March 2009, replacing his brother who was dropped for the game, but his place in South Africa's one-day line-up has now started to look more uncertain after a run of unconvincing form.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Paul Lee Harris


Born November 2, 1978, Salisbury (now Harare), Rhodesia


Major teams South Africa, Northerns, Titans, Warwickshire, Western Province


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox

Paul Lee Harris

Slow left-armer Paul Harris is the latest man to be tasked with curing South African cricket's chief ailment - their continued failure to develop match-winning spinners at international level. Tall and not unlike the former England star Phil Tufnell in appearance and style, Harris eventually made it into the South African squad for the Boxing Day Test against India in 2006.


The selectors had previously ignored his haul of 49 wickets in the 2005-06 SuperSport Series season, which no bowler bettered, and faced the prospect of him being lost to South African cricket when he played eight successful matches for Warwickshire as a Kolpak player in mid-2006. It was only after Nicky Boje stormed into retirement, finally disenchanted with his country's treatment of spinners, that the call went out for the 28-year-old.


Harris has made his name with the Titans under former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus and is a departure from the usual South African policy of choosing spinners who can also contribute with the bat and in the field. But he has been an integral part of his franchise's success at first-class level, combining accuracy, turn and bounce to claim higher honours.


Harris was born in Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia, in November 1978 but grew up in Cape Town, where his progress as a spinner was blocked by the former internationals Paul Adams and Claude Henderson.


Having made his first-class debut for the Western Province B side in 1998-99, he played a single match for the A side in 2000-01 and 2001-02 before moving to Northerns. He only booked his place in the side when Pybus became coach in 2005-06 and calls for the national selectors to consider him soon grew in volume. Harris gave up his Kolpak status at Warwickshire (where before his Test debut he wasn't classified as an overseas player) to play for South Africa in the New Years' Test against India. He took four wickets in the first innings - including one Sachin Tendulkar - and will perhaps be remembered most for his nagging, over-the-wicket line that decidedly put the Indian batsmen in a shell, and helped South Africa wrestle back the initiative.


He showed great promise in 2007, picking up 12 wickets at 20.66 against Pakistan in October, including his first five-wicket haul in the first Test at Karachi. He was named as one of South Africa's Players of the Year for his efforts, but struggled to build on his potential in 2008, picking up 24 wickets in the calendar year at a bloated 45.04. Harris found some form in 2009, but a poor showing in the third Test against England in January 2010 - and the subsequent call-up, quickly rescinded, of the ineligible Pakistan-born legspinner, Imran Tahir - meant Harris's place in the team was no longer assured.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:08 AM Comments comments (0)


Full name Mark Verdon Boucher


Born December 3, 1976, East London, Cape Province


Major teams South Africa, Africa XI, Border, Cape Cobras, ICC World XI, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Warriors


Playing role Wicketkeeper batsman


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm medium


Fielding position Wicketkeeper

Mark Verdon Boucher


A man to go to war with, but never against, Mark Boucher packs all the archetypical attributes of the South African cricketer into his short, stocky frame. He is relentlessly competitive, invariably aggressive, and as hard and uncompromising as the new ball. He makes a point of, in his own words, "walking onto the field as if you own the place".


His relative lack of pure wicketkeeping skill and ability was exposed on South Africa's 1998 tour to England when he was repeatedly undone by the swing of the ball after it had pitched. But even then, as now, Boucher had no peer in terms of temperament, guts and determination, and he duly fashioned himself into one of the finest glovemen in the game. He can often be seen, long after the rest of the squad has hit the showers after a training session, willing himself through another set of wicketkeeping drills. The hard work has paid off, and he is likely to hold the record for Test dismissals - among many others - long after his retirement.


As a batsman Boucher lives for the big moment, the quick 30 or 40 his team needs to win a match, or the session that must be spent at the crease to ensure a draw. His most memorable innings is probably the scintillating unbeaten 50 he scored to complete South Africa's surge to a series-clinching target of 438 for 9 off the penultimate ball of a one-day international against Australia in Johannesburg in March 2006.


Boucher strutted through 75 consecutive Tests before the suits thought he needed to be brought down a peg or two and dropped him for the tour to India in 2004. His reality duly checked, he returned to the national team as the ultimate man for the trenches. Now in the autumn of his career, his renewed commitment to his conditioning should earn him extra years at the top.


For a man who looms so large in the world of cricket, Boucher started small. He was invariably smaller, and younger, than anyone else in the age-group provincial teams he played in. But the neon intensity in his eyes in the otherwise banal team photographs told of a kid who meant business. Boucher was a junior South African squash champion, and famously once played a national final with a racquet arm that had not long before emerged from a plaster cast. He lost, but in five games.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Dale Willem Steyn


Born June 27, 1983, Phalaborwa


Major teams South Africa, Africa XI, Deccan Chargers, Essex, Northerns, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Titans, Warwickshire


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast

Dale Willem Steyn

Dale Steyn could be just the latest nuclear-tipped arrow that South Africa have drawn from their seemingly bottomless quiver of classy fast bowlers. The trouble, for opposing batsmen, is that he is rather more than that. Pure pace is one thing, pinpoint pure pace distinctly another. Pinpoint pure pace poison-tipped with aggression still another. Add the regularity with which Steyn moves the ball away from right-handers, and the way his deliveries skid at batsmen - a lack of height isn't all bad - and the danger he poses is obvious.


Steyn has grown into a bowler who has a firm grip on all of the tenets of the faith of the fast and the furious. But his is no paint-by-numbers tale of ability plus skill plus experience seamlessly stitching itself into a story of success.


He began his career armed with more pace than he knew what to do with, and little else: when he played his first Test against England in 2004, he was far from the bowler just described. Then, as he made peace with his bowling action and figured out how best to hone a body seemingly not suited to the rigours of life as fast bowler for just that fate, came the accuracy. Steyn took 16 wickets in his second series, but there remained a suspicion that he wasn't as dominant and aggressive as a fast bowler of his class should be. He was simply too nice.


All of which changed in South Africa's home series against the New Zealanders in 2007-08. A visibly fired up Steyn took ten wickets in the first Test in Johannesburg. Then, shortly after lunch on the first day of the second Test in Centurion, he earned all that nastiness he needed in the sickening instant in which Craig Cumming flapped at a short delivery. Cumming missed, and the ball crashed into his face and sent him to intensive care. Suddenly, Steyn was no longer a nice kid with a bit of zip.


The flow of wickets became a gush, and in 2008, he became the fastest South African, and the 15th fastest overall, to reach 100 Test wickets. That September, Steyn was named ICC Test Player of the Year after taking 86 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 18.10. And so on and so forth ... expect many more stupendous statistics in the years to come.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 3:01 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Robin John Peterson


Born August 4, 1979, Port Elizabeth, Cape Province


Major teams South Africa, Derbyshire, Eastern Province, Warriors


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox

Robin John Peterson

Spin bowlers of genuine potential are a rarity in South Africa, much less the jewels who can hold a bat as well as field with attacking intent. Peterson, a left-arm finger spinner from Eastern Province, fills all three vacancies more than competently. At first glance he seems an overly orthodox slow bowler, but he turns the ball appreciably given help from the pitch and is invariably a tidy operator with a steadily developing understanding of flight. Peterson has also cultivated an unusual delivery that turns into the right-handed batsmen.He was part of the South African Under-19 team that took on Pakistan and England, and he played the Under-19 World Cup in 1998. Peterson made his Test debut in 2003 against Bangladesh, taking five wickets and scored 61. It was in Bangladesh where he took his first five-wicket haul as well, on the 2008 tour.


Given more chances in ODIs, Peterson has failed to grab the opportunities. With his bowling hardly a threat to the opposition batsmen, it is not surprising that one of his ODI career highlights is his winning boundary - an outside edge past slip - in South Africa's one-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at Providence during the 2007 World Cup.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 2:58 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Andre Nel


Born July 15, 1977, Germiston, Transvaal


Major teams South Africa, Easterns, Essex, Lions, Mumbai Indians, Northamptonshire, Surrey


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

Andre Nel

Andre Nel is a muscular, bludgeoning fast bowler who has belied his conservative Afrikaans upbringing by amassing one of South African cricket's most chequered disciplinary records. Nel was sent home from the South Africa A tour of Australia in 2003 after being stopped by Tasmanian police and found to be driving under the influence of alcohol. It was the latest in a string of misdemeanors, but not enough to preclude his selection in the South African one-day squad for the tour of England in 2003, for which he was forced to take a temporary break from his contract with Northamptonshire. Nel was tipped from an early age as a future international and he first made the headlines in February 2001 when he felled his hero Allan Donald with a fierce bouncer during a domestic first-class match. Although Nel burst into tears when Donald was forced to leave the field, it later emerged that he was following instructions from coach Ray Jennings to target South Africa's premier fast bowler.


Further controversy followed later that year, when Nel was one of five South African players found guilty of smoking marijuana during the tour of the West Indies. However, it was during the home West Indies series in 2003-04, during which he got married, that he established himself as a permanent member of the Test team - and was only in trouble once, for making facial gestures to Chris Gayle. A back injury curtailed his progress, but he returned with wickets and more facial contortions against England in 2004-05. Nel came into his own during South Africa's tour of Australia at the end of 2005, where he was an intimidating presence with 14 wickets and an attacking mindset. Four dismissals on Boxing Day led to a strong showing at Sydney, and his ability to fight against the backdrop of racial taunts from the Australian crowd was tough. Failed to back his words, however, during a return series at home, finishing with only six wickets, and was involved in a heated argument with Adam Gilchrist in the second Test after being slammed for 22 runs. An unsuccessful tour of Sri Lanka in the summer of 2006 followed, but Nel was retained in South Africa's 14-man squad for the Champions Trophy in India.


Chipped in with wickets and more than a mouthful of words and cheeky grins against India at home, but will probably be remembered most from the Test series for being at the receiving end of a big six and a famous impromptu dance from Indian pace bowler Sreesanth. He secured a place in the 2007 World Cup squad but wasn't a certainty on the final team-sheet. However, his spells against England and Bangladesh showed what he brought to the attack and his commitment was never questioned. With South Africa settling on a young pace-bowling attack, led by Dale Steyn, opportunities were increasingly limited and he announced his international retirement in March, 2009. He has enjoyed spells with Essex in 2005 and 2007, and was granted early leave from the club in 2008 to play for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. On the domestic front, he transferred from the Titans to the Lions before the 2008-09 season.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 2:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Neil Douglas McKenzie


Born November 24, 1975, Johannesburg, Transvaal


Major teams South Africa, Durham, Gauteng, Lions, Northerns, Transvaal


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm medium


Education King Edward VII, RAU


Relation Father - KA McKenzie

 Neil Douglas McKenzie

Popular, mildly eccentric and unassuming, Neil McKenzie was a stalwart in South Africa's middle-order for four years in the early 2000s, despite a less-than-promising start as an opening batsman in Sri Lanka in 2000. From good cricketing stock - father Kevin was a carefree middle-order batsman who represented South Africa during the rebel era - Neil captained both the South African Schools and Under-19 teams before falling under the influence of former New Zealand captain Ken Rutherford at Gauteng. He made his maiden Test and ODI centuries against New Zealand and Sri Lanka respectively during the summer of 2000-01 and was able to take advantage of the confusion over the roles of Daryll Cullinan and Jonty Rhodes to establish himself as a more-or-less permanent fixture in both teams. Questions were asked of his ability to cope with the very best spinners, but not enough to warrant his three-and-a-half year exile from the side from March 2004, at a time when he ought to have been at the height of his career. He was eventually recalled to face West Indies at Cape Town in January 2008. Neat and economical at the crease, McKenzie is particularly strong on the leg side. On the tour of Bangladesh which followed, he was involved in a world record opening stand of 415 with his captain Graeme Smith. Prior to South Africa's tour of England, he signed for Durham for the early part of the 2008 season.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 2:53 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Jean-Paul Duminy


Born April 14, 1984, Strandfontein, Cape Town, Cape Province


Major teams South Africa, Cape Cobras, Deccan Chargers, Devon, Mumbai Indians, South Africa Under-19s, Western Province, Western Province Boland


Playing role Middle-order batsman


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm offbreak

Jean-Paul Duminy

Jean-Paul Duminy was identified very early on as a potential international player, but having made his ODI debut in 2004, it was another three years before he cemented a regular place in the team. Partly that was down to South Africa's strong battling line-up and partly down to his own inconsistency, failing to live up to high expectations. However, when his Test chance came, through an injury to Ashwell Prince, he launched his career in a manner bettered by few players. On debut he helped guide South Africa to a successful chase of 414 in Perth with an unbeaten 50, then he followed that with a serene 166 in Melbourne to rescue to his team from the prospect of a huge deficit. Those two innings confirmed him as an integral part of South Africa's future, and he built on that with impressive performances in the subsequent limited-overs game. His timing was perfect: South Africa clinched the Test and ODI series, and he subsequently earned a whopping US$950,000 annual contract with the IPL's Mumbai Indians.


Duminy's batting is elegant and graceful, with a silky cover-drive and a strong square cut. He has few problems when the ball is short, either, and like a lot of left-handers likes to whip deliveries through midwicket. There is a calmness about his play that belies his age, an approach that flows into his personality. After scoring his 166 at the MCG he said: "I guess I have a lot to live up now."


Better known as JP, he broke into a strong Western Province side during the 2001-02 domestic season. Just 18 at the time, his potential was always evident and came to the fore in the South African Under-19 tour to England in 2003. He made his ODI debut during South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka in 2004 and played five matches, with little success, often buried at the bottom of the order.


Two years later, he was recalled to the national squad for a three-match contest against Zimbabwe at home but struggled to nail down a full-time slot. Slowly, though, he matured as a batsman and developed the craft of finishing an innings. Although not quite in the same bracket as Michael Bevan or Michael Hussey in closing out one-day games, his ability to work the gaps with strong wrists and sprint between the wickets means he will grow into the role. He is a brilliant fielder anywhere with a safe pair of hands and a decent arm. In ODIs he has helped fill the gap left by Jonty Rhodes and when he plays alongside AB de Villiers and Herschelle Gibbs, South Africa's fielding circle is almost unbreakable.


Posted by anccricket on October 31, 2008 at 2:52 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Johan Botha


Born May 2, 1982, Johannesburg, Transvaal


Major teams South Africa, Africa XI, Border, Eastern Province, Northamptonshire, Rajasthan Royals, Warriors


Playing role Allrounder


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm offbreak

Johan Botha

Johan Botha's is an interesting case. He began his career as an ordinary medium pacer for the Eastern Cape Warriors - by his own admission he was quicker than 125 kmph - but it was after Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, had a look at him in the nets and saw something else that Botha dropped his ambitions for speed. Spurred by Arthur's comments that he would do well to turn to spin, Botha remodeled his action and began studying the art of the doosra - the ball that turns away from the right-handed batsman - in hopes of emulating the wiles of Harbhajan Singh. A successful tour of Sri Lanka with the South Africa A side - in which he took key wickets as well as scoring runs - saw Botha's name penciled in as a potential spinning allrounder.


A determined, fiercely competitive individual, Botha found a place in the squad to tour India for a five-match one-day series after Nicky Boje pulled out over security concerns in regard to charges of matchfixing. His debut - in the first match at Hyderabad - resulted in 31 runs from six overs with the wicket of Irfan Pathan, bowled through the gate. Both Arthur and Graeme Smith rated him highly and saw him as vital to South Africa's progress towards the World Cup. But his career came to a grinding halt when his action was cited on his Test debut in January 2006, and following testing at the University of Western Australia, he was banned by the ICC. Botha reworked his action but it was confirmed once again in September that he bent his arm more than 15 degrees. However, after another review in November, Botha's action was cleared by the ICC. He made his comeback during the 2007 Afro-Asia Cup and returned to the South African one-day team during the tour of Pakistan in 2007-08.


His stock as a resourceful and intelligent one-day cricketer continued to rise, and Botha captained the limited-overs leg of South Africa's trip to Australia in Graeme Smith's absence, leading the team to a series win. Though he has faced competition for his place as a spinning allrounder from Roelof van der Merwe, Botha remains a fixture in South Africa's one-day set-up.