South Africa’s cricket legend Mike Procter breathes his last

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South African cricket legend Mike Procter’s journey from apartheid-era triumphs to post-democracy coaching leaves an indelible mark on sport

South Africas cricket legend Mike Procter. — AFP
South Africa’s cricket legend Mike Procter. — AFP

South Africa’s celebrated cricket icon, Mike Procter, has passed away at the age of 77. 

The news, confirmed by his wife, Maryna Procter, reveals that the revered all-rounder succumbed to complications arising from a surgical procedure, resulting in his unfortunate demise.

“He suffered a complication during surgery, became unconscious and never woke up,” Maryna Procter said.

His family disclosed on Monday that, during the recovery period in a hospital intensive care unit after a routine surgery, he experienced a “cardiac incident.” Procter received medical attention in a hospital situated close to his hometown, the coastal city of Durban.

Mike Procter’s impact on the cricketing landscape is immeasurable. An outstanding all-rounder, Procter’s illustrious career was punctuated by feats both with the ball and the bat. His seven Tests for South Africa, all against Australia, saw the nation triumph in six, marking a significant era in the sport’s history.

However, the zenith of Mike Procter’s playing career was curtailed in 1970 when South Africa faced exclusion from international cricket due to the prevailing apartheid regime. Post the nation’s reintegration into the cricketing community, Procter assumed the role of the national coach, steering the team to the semi-finals of the 1992 World Cup.

Beyond the international arena, Mike Procter left an indelible mark during his 14-season tenure with English county Gloucestershire. Revered by his peers, former teammate David Graveney noted Procter’s remarkable contributions, highlighting his performance through knee pain and dubbing him one of the finest all-rounders.

“I don’t think people realise that when Mike played he was playing through great pain in his knee, but that didn’t stop him from performing at the level he did, he said.                     

He was just one of the best players I ever played with. The phrase ‘Proctershire’ was very apt for Mike. He put in the biggest performances in the biggest games.”

Statistically, Procter’s record is staggering – 21,082 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 36.92, coupled with 47 centuries, and an impressive 1,357 wickets at an average of 19.07. 

He is survived by his wife and two children.

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