Lungi Ngidi- Bio
Remeber when Sri Lanka won the 1996 World Cup? Well, now imagine Lungi Ngidi was actually born back then. That’s how young he still is rather. Born on the 29th of March 1996, the right arm fast bowler has been absolutely sensational ever since he made his debut for South Africa in January 2017 In T20 cricket, and Jan and Feb 2018 as far as Test Cricket and ODI cricket was concerned.
Lungi Ngidi is tall, express, he looks like a fast bowler and indeed lets the ball do the talking. When Ngidi arrived into the South African outfit, there was Dale Steyn, there was Kagiso Rabada, and irrespective it’s never easy to make it to the Proteas playing XI if you’re a fast bowler. Why is that? Well, because they have a battery of them. It’s like a perfect competition market out there. Just like the Indian batsmen who are always fighting for a slot in the playing XI even though they are all absolutely fab. Ask KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik or Ajnikya Rahane and they will tell you about it.
So who exactly is Lungi Ngidi? How did it all begin for the right-arm fast bowler?
He was born in Durban which also happens to be the biggest city in KwaZulu-Natal.There was a field in front of his house where he often used to go with his father and watch children play cricket. After a while, he could not resist the temptation of asking them if he could join in and there has been no looking back for the youngster ever since. Lungi Ngidi has represented various teams across the world but it all started for him when he started applying his trade for the KwaZulu -Natal inland provincial age-group squad when he was not even 13. He later graduated to their Under-19 Team and meanwhile also got a call from and the South Africa Junior Team. He is now a permanent fixture of the Protea Army and even plays for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
Lungi Ngidi- Poor Background, Was Never Easy
Interestingly, if you ask Ngidi why he chose to become a bowler he will tell you that it is because to be a batsman one requires a cricket kit and he could not afford one. In spite of all the hardships in life, Ngidi wasn’t the one to take anything sitting down. He decided to try and bowl instead and left everyone around him surprised in regards to how fast it came out from his hand. He was fast and he was furious and his skill helped him get a scholarship in one of South Africa’s prestigious universities- Hilton College. He then found a good coach in Neil Johnson from Zimbabwe who helped Lungi Ngidi further unleash his talent.
Lungi Ngidi- School Days
It’s never easy staying away from home especially when you’re a young kid in school and Ngidi had no option. On the other hand, he had the opportunity of a lifetime as the Hilton College was one of the most prestigious boarding school for boys in the entire country.
He decided to chin up and see the brighter side of it like all successful people in life do. He realised that he actually has an opportunity to go forward in sport. He played cricket but he also played a lot of rugby and was undecided till Grade 10 whether he wanted to become a rugby player or cricket player.
The Man Who Convinced Lungi Ngidi To Be A Cricket Player Instead Of Playing Rugby
His coach in high-school, Shane Gaffney who has also coached Temba Bavuma convince Ngidi that he has it in him to become a cricketer and in order to do that he should focus more on cricket rather than other sports. He also promised him that he would be there watching him bowl when he makes his Test Debut and the man indeed kept his promise when Ngidi made his Test Debut against India on the 13th of January 2018.
Lungi Ngidi Career
Started International Cricket With A Bang
This was back in the days in the year 2017 against Sri Lanka. In his debut T20 series, debut International Series rather with the Proteas outfit, Lungi Ngidi managed to pick up 6 wickets in a mere 3 games at an economy rate of 5.50 which was pure gold, especially in T20 cricket. Not to forget he was also the the man of the match in his debut T20 match which was the first game of the series. Nobody could figure him out, many still can’t rather and everyone knew that we might just have a new Dale Steyn in the making to partner Kagiso Rabada. This was exciting for Cricket South Africa and all their fans as the young Ngidi was tipped to be the next-big-thing in South African Cricket.
Lungi Ngidi vs Virat Kohli
The right arm fast bowler was fortunate enough to play his first Test Match ever at the SuperSport Park at Centurion. His fiery spell to Virat Kohli in his very first game certainly send a strong signal to the cricketing world that we have a new star in the making. He almost had his man in the first innings only to be on the wrong side of a poor umpiring decision and the fact that the Proteas did not go for the DRS. Having said that, he not only managed to get Kohli in the second innings, he took 6 wickets in total and completely dismantled a strong Indian batting lineup.
Lungi Ngidi – Indian Premier League
The Chennai Super Kings got a great deal during the IPL auctions as they could hire the services of Ngidi for just Rs 50 Lakhs. Having said that, the fact that he was so new to International Cricket at that stage, even getting a contract was a victory in itself. He even confessed to being nervous before the auctions. In an Interview, Lungi Ngidi quoted that he did not watch the auctions as he was busy playing a test match at that time but once he heard that Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK bid for him, the fast bowler was certainly in a mood to do double cart-wheels in his backyard while the Chennai fans were all set to do the ‘Lungi Dance’.
Big Blow To Lungi Ngidi
All was going great for the youngster. With no money in his bank just a while ago to have made his debut in all 3 formats for South Africa and then suddenly bursting into the IPL scene, that too with the Chennai Super Kings. Life could not be better for Lungi Ngidi but they always said- ” Life is all about uncertainties’. While the youngster was having a good time in India and raring to get a game under his belt, he suddenly got the kind of news which is the worst ever a son can get. His father suddenly passed away back home in South Africa and the youngster had to immediately fly back home.
This could be quite heart-breaking. His father took care of him when the Ngidi family literally had no money in the bank and just a while ago, he had proudly invited his parents to watch him play when he made his Test Debut against India. That was certainly a proud moment for him but unfortunately quite short-lived. We would have loved if his dad could come to India and come to see him play in the IPL but just as fate would have it, Ngidi had to face the biggest bouncer of his life in the middle of the Indian Premier League.
When The Going Got Tough, Lungi Ngidi Got Going!
He took a short break however just like Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar and Rishabh Pant, Ngidi too was back in action in no time. Even though he had to leave after CSK played a few games in the IPL, the right arm fast bowler was still to make a debut. When he came back, he was given an opportunity to be in the playing XI by the CSK Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and even under mentally tuff circumstances Ngidi somehow managed to give his best and certainly did not fail to impress. He finished the season by picking up 11 wickets in just 7 matches at an economy rate of exactly ‘6’ which is like ‘Pure Gold’, especially in T20 cricket. More like ‘Pure Diamond’ rather.
What’s Next For Lungi Ngidi
Well, he just needs to keep himself grounded and curb down the aggression a bit. It’s alright to be aggressive at times, especially if you’re a fast bowler but the man himself confessed that he needs to learn to balance it out a little better. If Ngidi could manage to do that and somehow find a way to keep himself fit, with the amount of talent he has, the sky is the limit for the young man.
Cric Crak will like to wish ‘More Power’ to Lungi Ngidi and hopes that he continues to work hard like he always has been because if he does, it would certainly be a treat to watch an exciting fast bowler like Ngidi in full swing. It already feels like a ‘Treat’ rather and we shall leave it to that and promise to bring you more about the absolutely talented fast bowler from South Africa