South African all-rounder and former national coach – Mike Procter was seriously ill in intensive care on Monday, February 12, according to his family. Procter’s wife and two daughters shared the information to AFP by Procter’s charitable foundation via a statement, saying that he was being treated in a hospital near his hometown, 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 played seven Test matches for South Africa between 1967 and 1970. His international career ended abruptly when South Africa were banned from world cricket because of its apartheid government. Before the ban, the 77-year-old played seven Test matches, out of which the Proteas won six, all of them against Australia.
His fast-bowling exploits earned him a lot of fame, as he picked up 41 wickets at an average of 15.02 in seven Tests. While he didn’t get a half-century in international cricket, Procter played several memorable knocks in first-class and List A cricket.
He played 401 first-class matches in 16 years and scored 21,936 runs at an average of 36.01. His highest score of 254 came against Western Province in 1971 when he was playing for the then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Procter amassed 48 centuries and 109 half-centuries during his illustrious career. Between 1970 and 1971, the right-handed batter slammed six consecutive centuries for Rhodesia. He also played for Gloucestershire for 14 seasons and captained them in five of them. Procter went on to achieve legendary status with the county side.
With the ball, he picked up 1,417 first-class wickets at an average of 19.53. He bagged 70 five-wicket hauls and had the best figures of 9/71 in an innings. In List A cricket, Procter played 271 matches and scored 6,624 runs at an average of 27.94. He also picked up 344 wickets at an impeccable average of 18.76. After South Africa were reinstated in international cricket, Procter coached the national side to a semi-final berth in the 1992 ODI World Cup.