Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

PICS: Queen Elizabeth with South African sporting stars

From Bryan Habana to Faf du Plessis, the late Queen Elizabeth II met some of SA's greatest sportsmen.

The late Queen Elizabeth, who passed away on Thursday, was a big sports fan and some fortunate South Africans got lucky to greet her during their travels around the world.

While several sporting events in the UK this weekend have been cancelled in a show of respect for the queen, the good news for cricket fans is the third and final Test between England and South Africa at the Oval in London will continue on Saturday after Friday’s play was called off.

The Oval
The second day of the 3rd Test match between England and South Africa was cancelled at The Kia Oval on Friday. Picture: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Former Proteas captain Faf du Plessis is one South African to have met the queen, on the eve of the 2019 World Cup, which was held in the UK.

Du Plessis and other cricket captains met the queen at Buckingham Palace in the 1844 room. Below iss a picture of the gathering, with Du Plessis second from left at the back.

Faf du Plessis
Back row (L-R): Sarfaraz Ahmed (Pakistan), Faf du Plessis (South Africa), Masrafe Bin Mortaza (Bangladesh), Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Gulbadin Naib (Afghanistan), front row (L-R) Jason Holder (West Indies), Aaron Finch (Australia), Queen Elizabeth II, Eoin Morgan (England) and Virat Kohli (India). Picture: Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Some fortunate Springbok rugby players have also had the honour of shaking hands with the queen, among them Bryan Habana and Victor Matfield, during a reception at Buckingham Palace in 2015, during the Rugby World Cup.

Bryan Habana and Victor Matfield
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (left) with South Africa’s Bryan Habana (third right), Australia’s Henry Speight and South Africa’s Victor Matfield (right) at a Rugby World Cup reception at Buckingham Palace in 2015 in London. Picture: Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool /Getty Images

Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez was also at the reception in 2015 and he, too, got to have a chat with the queen. Then coach Heyneke Meyer was also a guest at the queen’s London residence.

Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with South Africa’s Fourie du Preez, with coach Heyneke Meyer on the left. Picture: Anthony Devlin – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Queen also met Hansie Cronje’s cricket side of 1994, on their tour of Pakistan. Here she is greeting the players, in particular Paul Adams, during the first Test in Rawalpindi in 1997.

Queen and Paul Adams
Paul Adams of South Africa greets Queen Elizabeth prior to day three of the first Test match between Pakistan and South Africa at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on October 8, 1997. Picture: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits