Johannesburg – Former South African cricket captain Peter van der Merwe died in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, Cricket SA (CSA) said in a statement.

Van der Merwe, 75, captained the South African Test side on eight occasions during the 1960s.

During his time as captain he led the team to a series victory in England in 1965. Van der Merwe also won South Africa's first ever home Test series against Australia in the summer of 1966/67.

He played 15 Test matches, making his debut as vice-captain under Trevor Goddard on the tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1963/64.

He became the first national convenor of selectors when South African cricket was unified in 1991, including for the first tour to India that year and the World Cup in 1992.

“Peter made an immense contribution to South African cricket both on and off the field,” said CSA acting CEO Jacques Faul.

“He played a major role in changing the mindset of South African cricket from a defensive to an attacking style of play. He was hugely popular with and respected by his players.”

“As an administrator, he was our first national convenor of selectors and also served the game internationally as an ICC match referee for eight years. He was also the first president of the Eastern Province Cricket Board after unity.”

“On behalf of the South African cricket family I extend our sympathies to his family and friends.” – Sapa