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Former South African and Gloucestershire cricket star Mike Procter passed away at the age of 77.
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Former South African and Gloucestershire cricket star Mike Procter passed away at the age of 77.

Mike Procter, a former all-rounder for South Africa and the first coach for the country following their return to international cricket after apartheid, passed away at 77 years old.

Procter was recognized as one of the most skilled players of his time – a strong batsman, aggressive bowler, and cunning spinner – but only played in seven Test matches because of South Africa’s political isolation.

He had the opportunity to demonstrate his skills in English county cricket, and his impressive performance for Gloucestershire earned the club the nickname ‘Proctershire’ in his honor. He played 482 games for the club, scoring over 20,000 runs and taking more than 1,000 wickets. He also helped the team win both the Gillette Cup and the Benson and Hedges Cup. In honor of his passing, the Gloucestershire flag at Seat Unique Stadium has been lowered to half mast and will remain that way until the start of the 2024 season.

The county’s official statement expressed deep sadness over the death of former player and esteemed figure of the club, Mike Procter. He was highly esteemed as one of Gloucestershire’s best cricket players and sadly passed away in his hometown of Durban, South Africa on Saturday 17 February while in the hospital.

David Graveney, a former teammate, paid a personal tribute to him, saying “Mike was an exceptional player and rightfully considered one of the greatest all-rounders to have played for Gloucestershire.”

“I have had the pleasure of playing with many talented individuals, but Mike stood out as one of the best. His nickname, ‘Proctershire,’ was a perfect fit for him, as he consistently delivered exceptional performances in crucial matches. True greatness is shown on the grandest of stages, and Mike proved himself to be a truly exceptional player.”

After the Proteas returned to the international sports scene, he was chosen as their head coach. He led them through the initial phases of their comeback and helped them reach the semi-finals of the 1992 World Cup.

He eventually served as the chairman of selectors and an International Cricket Council match referee. In 2006, during the Oval Test between England and Pakistan, he forfeited the match when the visiting team refused to resume play after the tea break due to being penalized for tampering with the ball by the umpires.

Source: theguardian.com