Cape Town – Flags flew at half-mast at Sahara Park Newlands in Cape Town after the news filtered through about the death of former Western Province cricketer John E Commins.
“We are deeply sorry to hear the horrific news about John and send our condolences to his family,” said Cricket SA acting CEO Jacques Faul on Friday.
“What should be a happy occasion at Newlands – as we celebrate the Proteas' superb performance against New Zealand – has turned into a sad one, and our thoughts are with his wife and family.”
Commins, 71, was apparently killed in his home in Claremont on Wednesday night.
He had accepted an invitation to attend the second day of the Test between South Africa and New Zealand, at Newlands, on Thursday.
He played 10 matches for the then WP Cricket Union between 1961and 1968 and, as a leg-spinner, took 27 first-class wickets at an average of 27.77 with a best bowling performance of 5 for 32.
He was the youngest brother of former WP CEO Kevin Commins and uncle of John Commins, who represented the Proteas in the 1990s.
Commins’ daughter, Donne, manages many past and present South African cricketers, including Mark Boucher.
It was decided to postpone a planned farewell for Boucher at Newlands on Thursday to next month, when the Proteas take on Pakistan in Cape Town.
“We need to recognise the significant role the Commins family has played in cricket in South Africa,” Faul said.
“Not only did the two Johns play cricket for us and Kevin play a role in the administration of Western Province, but Donne is a very professional agent who has benefited a lot of our cricketers.”
Western Province Cricket Association president Beresford Williams expressed his “shock and horror” at his passing and extended the condolences of the entire South African cricket family to his family. – Sapa