Ntini, who was among the 30 former South Africa cricketers to support the Black Lives Matter moment, claimed in an interview to South African Broadcasting Corporation that he was made to feel rather lonely despite his achievements.
The former pacer is among South Africa's most successful bowlers with 390 Test and 266 ODI scalps. Yet, Ntini claimed that he had to constantly face discrimination. “Nobody knocked on my door to go for dinner. Teammates used to make plans right in front of me, skipping me out. When walking into the breakfast room, nobody came to sit with me," the 43-year-old was quoted as saying in the interview, according to a PTI report.
“We wear the same uniform and sing the same national anthem, but I had to overcome (the hurt),” he further said.
Ntini also stated that he used to avoid travelling in the team bus, and instead ran to the stadium to save himself the ignominy of mistreatment.
“I used to see the driver of the team bus, give him my bag, and then I would run to the cricket ground. I did the same thing on the way back, I just ran back instead. People never understood why I did that, I never told them what I was trying to avoid. It became my best thing, I didn’t have to face any of it," the South African legend revealed.
“I was running away from the loneliness. If I was sitting at the back of the bus, they would go and sit at the front. Whenever we won, it was joyful – but I was the first to be blamed whenever we lost,” Ntini claimed.
The ex-pacer, who was part of a squad that comprised match-winners like Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock, Graeme Smith and Lance Klusener, alleged his son Thando too had to face racial discrimination.
“My son Thando has also experienced this, he was almost stopped from going on an U19 camp,” he claimed. On Tuesday, Ntini, along with 30 ex-South African cricketers, signed a statement supporting the BLM movement, alleging racism still exists in South African cricket.
--By A Cricket Correspondent