Herschelle Gibbs was the most naturally gifted batsman to open the batting for South Africa in the modern era.
Known for his brilliant hand-eye coordination when batting, Gibbs mostly got away with not having a great technique and little use of his feet. When he was firing, it hardly mattered and his bad boy image together with on-field heroics made him a fan favourite.
He scored more than 8 000 ODI runs in 248 matches and his record of 21 hundreds by a South African in the 50-over format stood for years before Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers both surpassed it.
Gibbs was never far from the headlines and served a ban for his involvement in the Hansie Cronje match-fixing scandal. Other famous incidents include smoking marijuana on tour and drunk driving.
He famously ‘dropped the World Cup, mate’ in the 1999 World Cup against Australia according to Steve Waugh, but was known as a brilliant fielder in the mould of teammate Jonty Rhodes.
Gibbs starred in the record run-chase in Johannesburg in 2006, scoring 175 off 111 as South Africa beat Australia by a wicket in what is widely regarded as the greatest ever ODI of all time, also known as the ‘438 game’.
In the 2007 World Cup he smashed six sixes in an over against the Netherlands, becoming the first batsman to do so in ODIs. But problems of indiscipline and alcohol dogged his career and the last straw came when in 2010 he published a tell-all book which described tales of sexual debauchery on tour and allegations that the team was run by a clique of senior players.
The board terminated his central contract a month later, after which he made his living for a while as a gun-for-hire T20 franchise player.