Cricket

Titans hail Rice’s contribution to the game

2015-07-28 19:12
Jacques Faul (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - In an era in which South Africa was blessed with all-time greats and all-rounders, Clive Rice was one of the country’s most dominant cricketers, and his contribution to Transvaal, Natal, Nottinghamshire and South African cricket will be fondly remembered, said Jacques Faul, chief executive officer of the Titans.

Rice, South Africa’s first captain of the post-isolation era, died on Tuesday at the age of 66 after battling a brain tumour.

Such was his towering presence on the English county circuit in the 1980’s that he was classed in the same elite-group of all-rounders as Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham and Richard Hadlee.

Faul said Rice was the power behind the throne of a 'Mean Machine' in the 1970s and 1980s that dominated the domestic scene.

But he also catapulted Nottinghamshire to the title in 1981 and 1987. During the 1980s, he won three single-wicket competitions at the expense of some of his fiercest rivals including Kapil, Imran, Botham and Hadlee.

“You have to look beyond the numbers when assessing the contribution of Clive Rice,” said Faul.

"His 482 first-class matches, his 26 331 runs at an average of 40.95 and his 930 wickets at 22.49 apiece do reveal his excellence, but it still does not do justice to the impact he had on teams.

“His competitiveness, his steely character and his ability to transform games in the space of one session with devastating spells or excellent counter-attacking with the bat set him apart,” said Faul.

“We remember that first-class match in which he bowled Rob Drummond with the final ball of the day to win a match for Transvaal. And what about his excellent yorkers in the non-official rebel-matches against Australia to pull South Africa out of the mire and beat Australia almost single-handedly.

“He demanded high standards from his team-mates, but never shirked his responsibility and led from the front with unwavering commitment.

“He was one of the best all-rounders we had, and our condolences go to his family,” Faul said.

Read more on:    clive rice  |  jacques faul  |  cricket
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