South Africa cricket great Mike Procter seriously ill

Published February 13, 2024
South African cricket great Mike Procter is seriously ill and in intensive care. — AFP
South African cricket great Mike Procter is seriously ill and in intensive care. — AFP

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s swashbuckling cricket all-rounder and former national coach 77-year-old Mike Procter was seriously ill in intensive care on Monday, according to a news report citing his family.

A friend of the family, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to AFP that Procter was “in a very serious condition” after the report on leading news site News24.

News24, citing a statement from Procter’s wife Maryna and two daughters, said that he was being treated in the uMhlanga Hospital near the eastern city of Durban.

“Mike experienced a complication during routine surgery last week. While recovering in the ICU, he suffered a cardiac incident. He is currently in the ICU working on his recovery,” it said.

Procter’s international playing career with South Africa was cut short in 1970 when his country was excluded from world cricket because of its apartheid government.

Before the ban, South Africa won six of the seven Tests in which he played, all against Australia.

He was renowned primarily as a fearsome fast bowler, taking 41 wickets at an average of 15.02 runs in his seven Tests.

But he was also a flamboyant batsman, and equalled a world batting record when he hit six first-class centuries in successive innings.

After South Africa became a democracy and returned to international cricket, Procter became coach of the international side and led them to the semi-finals of the 1992 Cricket World Cup.

Procter played first-class cricket for 16 years, including 14 seasons with English county Gloucestershire, five of them as captain, where he achieved legendary status.

In South Africa, he played most of his cricket for Natal, the province where he was born.

His six successive centuries were made for the then Rhodesia between 1970 and 1971, culminating in a career-best 254 against Western Province.

He scored 21,082 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 36.92, hitting 47 centuries, and took 1,357 wickets at an average of 19.07 runs.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2024

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