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Page last updated at 08:46 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 09:46 UK

Makhaya Ntini backs South Africa at the World Cup

Makhaya Ntini
Ntini has returned home to an official ambassador at the World Cup

South Africa cricketer Makhaya Ntini believes his home nation could be the surprise package at the World Cup.

The 32-year-old, who has just finished a five-week spell with Kent, has an ambassadorial role at the event.

Ntini told BBC Radio Kent: "We know that we've always been underdogs - nobody really had faith in the South African team.

"But I believe that if we play the football that we know then we'll have the opportunity to score goals."

He added: "You never know. Football is something where you need luck. Any mistake that the other team make you can easily hurt them."

Ntini was the first black player to play for South Africa.

Although he inspired more black youngsters to take up the cricket, he says football is still the most popular sport in the rainbow nation.

"Football at home is one of the sports that most black people follow and love," he said.

"If you look at our football team it's mostly black.

"Each and every person you see passing by is kicking a football.

"A little bit of change is that they've also got a cricket bat in their hands which is one of the greatest things."



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