South Africa captain Graeme Smith on Wednesday paid rich tributes to Makhaya Ntini who announced his retirement from international cricket, saying the paceman was a great servant of the game.

Ntini officially announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday although he will represent his country one more time.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) Chief Executive Gerald Majola announced that the best black bowler produced by the nation would wear the green and gold for a final time in a January 9 Twenty20 clash against India in Durban.

Smith, who is here with the South African team to play Pakistan in the neutral venue series, said Ntini served his country with honour.

A great servant

“Makhaya epitomised what the Proteas stood for and has been a great servant of the game both on and off the field,” said Smith in a statement released by the team management.

“I am most grateful to have been part of his career and successes and wish him all of the best with his life after international cricket”.

The 33-year-old Ntini, who played under Smith since 2003, made the last of 101 Test appearances in December 2009 after capturing 390 Test wickets and 266 in one-dayers. — AFP

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