Frank Brache spent many years at Newlands working for the Western Province Cricket Association. Photo: Independent Media

Cricket lost one of one its veteran administrators, Frank Brache, after a long illness on Wednesday.

Brache was involved in cricket administration virtually all his life, culminating in his election to the United Cricket Board of South Africa’s first board in 1991.

Prior to unity, he started his administrative career with the Western Province Cricket Board of Control, when attempts were made to organise a West Indies tour of South Africa to play against a Basil d’Oliveira-led SACBOC XI in 1959.

In the late 1970s, Brache and former Western Province Cricket Union chief Clem Druker organised the first merger in the Western Cape of a white cricket club, Varsity Old Boys, and a coloured cricket club, Cavaliers.

Druker reportedly phoned Brache, who was secretary of the Western Province Cricket Board, and told him, in Brache’s words at the time: “Enough of this nonsense, let’s form a non-racial cricket club.”

Thorough unification in cricket, however, only occurred in the early 1990s, after major political changes and the unbanning of political organisations.

After unity, Brache remained heavily involved in the organisation and administration of cricket at Western Province.

As the brother-in-law of Basil d’Oliveira, he also served as a spokesperson for the D’Oliveira family.

“We honour his legacy as administrator as steward of the game whose passion saw him toil with unwavering commitment until the age of 83,” said WP Cricket Association chief executive Nabeal Dien.

“We express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and former colleagues of Frank.”

WPCA president Beresford Williams said: “Frank was a very industrious, competent administrators whose labour was done with excellence. He did not shirk the hard yards.

“As a cricket family, we are united in our grief. Frank’s tenure spanned the periods before and after unity, and his longevity as administrator will not be forgotten.”

CSA president Chris Nenzani added: “Frank gave a lifetime of service to cricket in various capacities, and was very much involved in the unity process when he served on the inaugural board of the United Cricket Board of South Africa following the conclusion of the unity of all cricketers under one banner.”

CSA acting chief executive Thabang Moroe said: “Cricket South Africa extends its deepest condolences to his family, cricketing colleagues and friends on behalf of the CSA family.”

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