Former South Africa cricket captain dies
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.