• Pollock, Kirsten salute Rice

    Graeme Pollock has described the death of Clive Rice as a ‘severe loss’ to South African cricket, while Peter Kirsten regarded him as ‘his favourite captain’.

    Rice died in hospital on Tuesday morning which was first reported by SACricketmag.com on their social media profiles. Twitter tributes poured in as news of his death spread.

    Rice was diagnosed with the tumour after collapsing in February. He died of infections after being admitted to hospital recently.

    ‘He was a great South African player,’ Pollock told SACricketmag.com. ‘Everyone is devastated.’

    ‘Clive was a wonderfully positive and determined guy who as a captain led by example. He did a wonderful job in South Africa’s isolation period and it was a travesty that he wasn’t selected for the 1992 World Cup.

    ‘It’s a tragedy that South Africa never used his talents as a coach after he retired. He made a great contribution on the field, but he could have made an even greater contribution off it. He was outspoken and honest and clashed with a few people. We have to start using people who have the knowledge and experience. It’s harmful to South African cricket when we don’t.’

    Kirsten, the former Western Province captain who played with and against Rice, regarded him as ‘his favourite captain’.

    ‘And I had played under quite a few,’ Kirsten said. ‘He instilled such confidence in you and gave you strength. He even rated me as an off-spinner. When I expressed doubts, he just said to me “Kirsey, just get out there and bowl” and that did wonders for my confidence.

    ‘It is just desperately sad that the world did not see more of him, with Ricey missing out on the World Cup in 1992. When it comes to the world’s great all-rounders, he was right up there.

    ‘He was a fierce competitor and never gave an inch, but he was always fair. And he always got the crowd going at Newlands. He knew how to use the media and we had some great contests.

    ‘We had such great times: When he was at Nottinghamshire and I was at Derbyshire, he used to arrange tickets through Brian Clough to go watch Nottingham Forest. There are so many memories and this really hit me hard. I was watching a documentary on him a little while ago and it brought a tear to my eye. He was a fighter.’

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