For­mer South Africa cricket cap­tain dies

Cape Breton Post - - IN MEMORIAM -

Clive Rice, South Africa’s first post-apartheid in­ter­na­tional cricket cap­tain and a for­mi­da­ble player who never got the op­por­tu­nity to show his tal­ent in tests, died on Tues­day aged 66.

Rice was di­ag­nosed with a brain tu­mour af­ter col­laps­ing in Fe­bru­ary. He trav­elled to In­dia for what he hoped would be life-sav­ing surgery af­ter doc­tors in South Africa said he was go­ing to die.

“Well, that’s what we’re all go­ing to do, but I’m not in a hurry,’’ Rice said in an in­ter­view in March af­ter the surgery.

He died in a Cape Town hos­pi­tal on Tues­day, five days af­ter his birth­day.

“Clive was our first cap­tain and we knew him to be a great fighter all his life,’’ Cricket South Africa chief ex­ec­u­tive Ha­roon Lor­gat said.

Although he led South Africa’s cricket team out of iso­la­tion in 1991, Rice’s ca­reer co­in­cided al­most ex­actly with, and was spoiled by, the sport­ing ban be­cause of apartheid.

He was 22 and a young star when picked for the test tour to Aus­tralia in the 1971-72 sea­son, only for that se­ries to be can­celled be­cause of apartheid.

So, he had to wait 20 years to fi­nally make his in­ter­na­tional de­but, cap­tain­ing South Africa at the age of 42 when the coun­try re­turned from iso­la­tion in 1991 with a three-game one- day in­ter­na­tional se­ries in In­dia.

But, rated as too old, he was dropped for South Africa’s first test af­ter apartheid later that year in the West Indies, and also from the 1992 World Cup squad — a hugely con­tentious de­ci­sion in South Africa. He never played for his coun­try again.

Although his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer stands at just three ODI games, he was one of the world’s best all­rounders in the 1970s and 1980s, cap­tain­ing Not­ting­hamshire to two English county ti­tles.

A hard-hit­ting bats­man and threat­en­ing seam bowler, Rice played first-class cricket for 25 years, re­tir­ing only in his mid40s.

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