Khaka joins Proteas 100 club

Written by on 16 April, 2024

By Ayanda Nyuswa 

Veteran Proteas Women fast bowler Ayabonga Khaka is set to reach a special milestone for South Africa by playing her 100th One Day International. Khaka will become the first Black African woman to make a century of appearances in the 50 over format, and the third Black African player overall, joining the legendary Makhaya Ntini and Kagiso Rabada in the centurion club. The Proteas Women will tackle Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI of the three-match series at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom on Wednesday. South Africa have a 1-0 lead in the series after their seven wickets triumph in the second ODI following the washed out opening match.

The 31-year old Khaka made her Proteas Women debut against Bangladesh in September 2012, and has been a mainstay in a team that has grown in leaps and bounds of over the years. She has represented South Africa in two Women’s ODI World Cup (2017 and 2022), and three T20 Women’s World Cups (2016, 2020 and 2023).

“I’m not the person that always looks at milestones, I enjoy playing for my country and I am honoured that I will have a possibility to achieve that tomorrow,” Khaka said speaking to reporters ahead of the third and final ODI against Sri Lanka.

“To be honest, I’m just a cricketer. I’ll take it that I’m achieving a milestone that other people have achieved. I’m not looking at it as I’m the first one, but I’m grateful to be part of the group that has achieved that. We have had great players before me and I’m just honoured to be part of them.”

In becoming the third Black African player to reach a century of ODI appearances Khaka says she was inspired by the legendary Makhaya Ntini who came from the same province (Eastern Cape) as her and made a huge impact on South African Cricket.

“I always looked up to Makhaya Ntini when I was growing up. I could relate to him because we’re coming from the same parts of the country. And with KG (Rabada), he’s still going, he’s still a youngster, but with the experience that he has, he’s showing (up) each and every day. I’m grateful to be part of that list with those two great guys,” Khaka added.

Picture: Gallo Images

Gagasi FM

What You Want to Hear