South Africa’s legendary cricket all-rounder and former national coach, 77-year-old Mike Procter, was severely ill in intensive care on Monday, according to his family. Procter’s charitable foundation, his wife Maryna, and two children told AFP that he was being treated at a hospital near his homeland, the Indian Ocean city of Durban.
“Last week Mike experienced a complication during routine surgery. While recovering in ICU he suffered a cardiac incident. He is currently in ICU working on his recovery. We would appreciate it if you kept him in your thoughts and prayers,” it said.
Procter’s international playing career with South Africa was cut short in 1970 when his country was barred from playing cricket due to its apartheid regime.
Prior to the ban, South Africa won six of his seven Tests, all of which were against Australia.
He was most known as a frightening fast bowler, collecting 41 wickets at an average of 15.02 runs in his seven Tests.
However, he was also a flashy batter, setting a world batting record by hitting six first-class century in succession.
After South Africa became a democracy and resumed international cricket, Procter became coach of the national team, leading 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 which as captain, when he became legendary.
In South Africa, he spent the most of his cricket career with Natal, his home province.
Between 1970 and 1971, he scored six straight hundreds for Rhodesia, the last of which was a career-best 254 against Western Province.
He scored 21,082 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 36.92, including 47 hundreds, and claimed 1,357 wickets at an average of 19.07 runs.
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