“Sorry can’t talk to you,” someone who sounded like Makhaya Ntini drawled from the other end of the phone.
That was that for a possible interview, but it proved Ntini is in the city; unless, of course, the receptionists at the hotel where the Chennai Super Kings’ players are staying are good at putting on an Afrikaans accent.
“Ntini arrived in Chennai on Monday night,” the Super Kings’ media manager Russell Radhakrishnan confirmed from Kolkata. “He will join the squad in Delhi.”
The Super Kings take on the Delhi Daredevils for their third match on Friday.
Although dropped from the national side, the medium-pacer has been among wickets in South Africa’s domestic competitions. His side, the Warriors, won the Pro20 title on Friday with Ntini taking two for 28 from three overs with the new ball.
Overall, Ntini was the second highest wicket-taker in Pro20 with 12 scalps from eight matches and an economy rate of 7.
Warriors also won the one-day competition, MTN40, with Ntini picking up 16 wickets from nine matches to be fourth on the highest wicket-takers’ list.
The Super Kings need Ntini to solve their bowling woes. They also need a replacement for the injured Jacob Oram. The team, it is learnt, has written to the IPL commission about a replacement for Oram and are awaiting clearance.
Ntini’s domestic bliss
Pro20: 8 matches, 12 wickets, 7.0 economy
MTN40: 9 matches, 16 wickets, 5.35 economy
Ntini’s team, Warriors, won both competitions