Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Tributes pour in for SA cricket icon Mike Procter

Procter was considered one of the greatest all-rounders the game has seen.

Tributes have been offered from across South Africa after cricket legend Mike Procter died on Saturday night at the age of 77.

His wife, Maryna Procter, told AFP the former all-rounder had suffered complications during surgery at Netcare uMhlanga Hospital in Durban and “never woke up”.

Though his international career was cut short by South Africa’s isolation due to apartheid rule, Procter played seven Tests for the national side between 1967 and 1970.

He played a total of 401 first-class matches, making 21,936 runs at an average of 36.01, and he took 1,417 wickets at 19.53. His performances ensured he was widely regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of the game.

After he retired as a player, Procter went on to become the SA team’s first coach after the nation returned from isolation in 1991.

Former Proteas star Jonty Rhodes was among the first people to offer his condolences.

“Devastated to hear about the passing of Mike Procter. He was my first provincial and international coach,” Rhodes said in a social media post.

‘Inspiring generations’

Procter played county cricket in the UK for 13 years, for Gloucestershire. Back home, he spent most of his career with Natal (now KZN), representing the province where he was born.

“Whilst his passing leaves an unquestionable void in the cricket world, his legacy will inspire generations to come. Rest in peace, Mr Procter. You will be missed,” said Dolphins Cricket.

Having left an indelible mark on the game, renowned cricket journalist Colin Bryden said words could not express the contribution Procter had made.

“Devastating news about the death of Mike Procter. No written tributes can do justice to the thrill of seeing him in action, charging in off his long run or the power of his batting. And he was a thoroughly decent person,” Bryden said.

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