Former Barbados all-rounder Mark Lavine tragically passed away on this day, 19 years ago.
Lavine played 33 first-class and 56 List A matches – for Barbados in the Caribbean and North West in South Africa – between 1992 and 2001.
Lavine spent three seasons with North West. He became a South African citizen after marrying Johannesburg-born Patricia.
‘Mark has a very good chance of representing South Africa if you’re going to pick the side on merit,’ said former West Indian fast bowler Vasbert Drakes, who played for Border in South Africa, in April 2001.
‘In the last year or so, he has grown as an individual and as a cricketer. Mark was always a talented cricketer, but in terms of consistency, he was never one of the most consistent players.
‘He’s one of the biggest fishes in South Africa’s cricket. He’s still young and I think he has a bright future ahead of him.’
Sadly, less than a month after Drakes’ comments, the 28-year-old Lavine suffered a fatal heart attack while playing club cricket in the United Kingdom.
‘We were extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Mark, who was one of the real stars of South African provincial cricket,’ said United Cricket Board (now Cricket South Africa) president Percy Sonn at the time. Sonn has since passed away, too.
Lavine and Drakes were among several West Indians to play provincial cricket in South Africa in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including the Free State’s Franklyn Stephenson, Eastern Province’s Eldine Baptiste, Border and Gauteng’s Ottis Gibson, Eaterns’ Kenny Benjamin and others.
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