Rice had a 'heart the size of Africa'

2015-07-28 11:04
South African cricketer and Nottinghamshire captain Clive Rice lifts the trophy after his team beat Northamptonshire to win the final of the NatWest Trophy at Lord's, London, 1987 (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Clive Rice was a "fighter" who had a "heart the size of Africa", former South African great Mike Procter says. 

Procter and the rest of the country heard news of Rice's death on Tuesday morning after the former South African all-rounder had battled a brain tumour.

Rice had undergone specialised laser treatment in India earlier in the year to treat the tumour. 

Rice and Procter crossed paths many times in the 1970s and 1980s when Procter played for Natal and Rice for Transvaal, while they also met frequently on the English County circuit when Procter played for Gloucestershire and Rice turned out for Nottinghamshire. 

"Clive was a fighter like you can’t believe and he proved that on the cricket field and he’s proved it over the past few months," said Procter after hearing the news of his friend's passing.

"He’s just got a heart the size of Africa. He’s a remarkable man. When he made up his mind to do things he did them. Everyone knew where they were going with him ... a fighter of note and a true, true gentleman." 

Procter had chatted to Rice on the phone a couple of weeks ago, but he recalled a conversation they had shared earlier in the year after Rice had collapsed as a result of the tumour. 

"He was always upbeat, there was never any negativity," said Procter.

"I remember saying to him when he collapsed ... I asked him how he was and he said ‘fine’. I reminded him that he was talking to me and that he could be honest ... he would not be negative at all ... and he was really battling. You had to extract it out of him.

"He was an incredibly positive guy." 

Remembering Rice's abilities on the field, Procter pointed out that he would have achieved much more had he been allowed to enjoy a full international career while South African sport was in isolation. 

Instead, Rice played just thee ODIs and no Tests for South Africa. 

READ: Condolences pour in for Rice

READ: Rice's career in numbers

"People forget that he would have been one of the top all-rounders in international cricket," said Procter.

"For some guys things come easy. Bowling was easier for him than batting. His batting when he started, he really struggled, he wasn’t a natural with the bat. He had to work really hard.

"He was such an inspirational guy. He never really showed too many emotions either way, he just got on with business. But he was great competitor."

Read more on:    clive rice  |  cricket


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Following the Proteas' dire tour of India, how will their 4-Test series against England pan out?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.