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Tough innings for Mike Procter: SA cricket great and former Proteas coach in ICU



Former SA cricket star and national coach Mike Procter was in a serious condition in intensive care on Monday evening.

Legendary South African fast bowler, dazzling batsman, former Proteas coach and international cricket referee Mike Procter is in a serious condition in intensive care.

This according to a statement issued on Monday afternoon, 12 February by Procter’s charitable foundation, his wife Maryna and two daughters.

Mike Procter in ICU after cardiac incident

The 77-year-old Test cricketer, who is considered as one of the top-10 all-rounders of all time, was undergoing treatment in a hospital near his hometown of Durban.

“Last week Mike experienced a complication during routine surgery. While recovering in ICU he suffered a cardiac incident. He is currently in ICU working on his recovery. We would appreciate it if you kept him in your thoughts and prayers,” it said.

International career cut short by isolation from world cricket

Procter’s international playing career with South Africa was cut short in 1970 due to the country’s isolation from world cricket.

This followed the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) refusal to acknowledge South Africa as a member as a result of apartheid.

Procter wrote in his book, South Africa: The Years of Isolation and Return to International Cricket, about his initial frustration and anger as a flamboyant sportsman who just stepped into the international limelight.

“I was hurt, disappointed, angry at our own government and at world cricket’s ruling authority. An international sportsman can’t wait to have a go at opposition of equal stature, to test his mettle at the highest level. Now we South Africans were out in the cold.”

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Mighty Mike Procter: The bowler and the batsman

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

Procter was feared most for his fast and furious bowling, taking 41 wickets at an average of 15.02 runs in his seven Tests.

But he was also a swash-buckling batsman, and equalled a world batting record when he hit six first-class centuries in successive innings against the then Rhodesia between 1970 and 1971, culminating in a career-best 254 against Western Province.

ALSO READ: Proteas ‘desperate’ to avoid historic series defeat against Black Caps

Coach, captain and first-class cricketer

When South Africa returned to international cricket, Procter became coach of the Proteas 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 his home province of Natal.

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.

— Additional reporting by © Agence France-Presse

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