Cricket legend Mike Procter seriously ill

Henry

Mike Procter, South Africa’s former national cricket coach, is seriously ill and is being treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital near Durban.

In a statement sent to AFP by Procter’s (77) charity foundation, his wife, Maryna, and two daughters said Procter experienced complications during a routine operation last week.

“While recovering in the intensive care unit, he experienced heart problems. We would appreciate it if you would keep him in your thoughts and prayers,” the statement read.

Procter’s international career was cut short in 1970 when South Africa was excluded from world cricket due to the policies of the apartheid government. Before the ban, South Africa won six of the seven Tests in which Procter played, all against Australia.

He was mainly known as a fearsome fast bowler and took 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 hundreds in consecutive innings.

After South Africa became a democracy and returned to international cricket, Procter became the coach of the South African team 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.

Locally, he played most of his cricket for Natal. In his career, he scored 21,082 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 36.92, hit 47 hundreds and took 1,357 wickets at an average of 19.07 runs.