South Africa’s cricket icon and former national coach, 77-year-old Mike Procter, is in serious condition and receiving intensive care, as confirmed by his family on Monday.
In a statement relayed to AFP through Procter’s charitable foundation, his wife Maryna and two daughters revealed that he is undergoing treatment at a hospital near his hometown, Durban, situated along the Indian Ocean.
The statement explained, “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.”
Procter’s illustrious international playing career with South Africa was curtailed in 1970 due to the country’s exclusion from world cricket amid its apartheid government. Notably, South Africa triumphed in six of the seven Tests in which he played, all against Australia.
Known for his prowess as a fearsome fast bowler, Procter took 41 wickets at an average of 15.02 runs in his seven Tests. Additionally, he showcased his skills as a flamboyant batsman, equalling a world record by hitting six first-class centuries in successive innings.
After South Africa’s return to international cricket following the end of apartheid, Procter assumed the role of coach for the national side. Under his guidance, the team reached the semi-finals of the 1992 Cricket World Cup.
Procter’s first-class cricket career spanned 16 years, including 14 seasons with the English county Gloucestershire, where he achieved legendary status, serving five seasons as captain. Most of his domestic cricket in South Africa was played for Natal, his home province.
His notable achievement includes scoring 21,082 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 36.92, with 47 centuries, and taking 1,357 wickets at an average of 19.07 runs. The cricketing community and fans now await updates on his recovery, sending their thoughts and prayers for the cricketing legend.