JOHANNESBURG: Reckless cricket all-rounder and former South Africa national team coach Mike Procter, 77, was seriously ill in intensive care on Monday, according to a news report citing his family.
A family friend, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to AFP that Procter's condition was very serious following the report on leading news site News24.
News24, citing a statement from Procter's wife Maryna and two daughters, said he was being treated at uMhlanga Hospital near the eastern city of Durban.
Mike experienced a complication during a routine surgery last week. While recovering in intensive care, he suffered a cardiac incident. He is currently in intensive care and working on his recovery, the hospital said.
Procter's international playing career with South Africa was cut short in 1970 when his country was banned from world cricket by the apartheid government.
Before the ban, South Africa won six of the seven Tests he played in, all against Australia.
He was best known as a formidable fast bowler, taking 41 wickets at an average of 15.02 runs in his seven Tests.
But he was also a flamboyant batsman and equaled a world batting record when he hit six first-class centuries in consecutive innings.
After South Africa became a democracy and returned to international cricket, Procter became coach of the international side 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 Natal, the province where he was born.
His six consecutive centuries were made for the then Rhodesia between 1970 and 1971, culminating in a career-best 254 against Western Province.
He scored 21,082 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 36.92, hit 47 centuries, and took 1,357 wickets at an average of 19.07 runs.
Published in Dawn, February 13, 2024
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