Pat Symcox, who turned 56 on Thursday, is our legend of the week.
‘Symmo’ played 28 Tests and 80 ODIs for the Proteas in a career that spanned the best part of six years. An opening batsman-turned off-spinner whose career took off when he moved to Durban, Symcox’s competitive and gritty nature made him a valuable part of the woodwork in the Proteas set-up.
One of his greatest moments in national colours came in the first Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers in 1998, when he strode out with South Africa on 166-8. He went on to score 108 in a 195-run ninth-wicket partnership with Mark Boucher, a record that still stands today. He was sensationally dropped for the rest of the series, before being brought back into the side for the series against West Indies later that year.
The former all-rounder, who played 122 first-class matches for Griqualand West and Natal, moved into the commentary box with SuperSport, but, often outspoken and controversial, he left the post in 2006. He now runs a property company and remains an influential voice in cricketing circles.
Photo: David Munden/Getty