CAPE TOWN – Michael Doman was so good as a teenaged batsman that he was selected for one of the strongest ever non-racial Western Province teams.
The 1979/80 WP Howa Bowl champion side featured the likes of Saait Magiet, Rushdi Magiet, Braima Isaacs, George van Oordt and Lefty Adams.
But among the stalwarts were a bunch of incredibly talented youngsters, among who were Vincent Barnes – the former Proteas assistant coach and current Cricket SA high-performance manager – Clinton Ravens and Michael Doman.
They were all still in their teens, so it spoke volumes of their ability to make such a powerful Province XI.
So it was with great sadness that fast-bowling legend Barnes took to Facebook on Monday to bid farewell to his former teammate Doman, who passed away in the early hours of Monday morning.
His death closely follows that of one of his teammates, Saait Magiet, who died on July 17 at the age of 66.
Doman, who matriculated from Athlone High, was also a journalist extraordinaire, and was still working at Independent Media as the sports editor of the Cape region at the time of his death, at the age of 57.
“So very sad to hear of the passing of a very good and dear friend of mine, Michael Doman. Michael and I came through the age groups playing for Victoria Cricket Club and went on to make our first team and provincial debuts around the same time,” Barnes wrote.
“An outstanding batsman who I always enjoyed chatting to about the game. I appreciated Michael’s perspective on the standard of cricket globally and the performance of some of the international teams.
“Often these conversations would move to our era, when we played with grit on under-prepared conditions at times, but where our mutual love for cricket was born and nurtured.
“My deepest condolences to Lorelle, their sons and the Doman family. R.I.P. Michael.”
So sad to hear the news this morning of the passing of my dear friend. R.I.P. Michael Doman
WP Cricket Association president Beresford Williams and chief executive Nabeal Dien joined in on the tributes to Doman.
“Phlegmatic, selfless, humble and brilliant are some of the words that spring to mind when I reflect on the career of Doman in front of the stumps and behind a laptop,” Williams said.
“He was one of the most beloved gentlemen the sport of cricket locally had known, He had few enemies, and many people admired his skills.”
Dien added: “We wish to express our sincere condolences with Michael’s wife, Lorelle, his eldest son Luke, and twin boys Jamie and Liam.
“He served the game with distinction for almost a decade-long representation of Western Province, while also reaching a new legion of fans in the role of journalist.
“His insights and talent endeared him to a large group of cricket supporters who was aware of his exploits in the middle. He will be sorely missed.”
Doman was hampered by a back injury that ended his career in his 20s, but he soon got back into the game as a cricket writer for the Cape Argus.
He was initially a news reporter for the Cape Herald newspaper in the 1980s.
A gentle, unassuming man Michael was. Didn't say too much but what a talented sportsman. Youngest, at 17 yrs and 17 days, to represent WPCB, WP shot put champ, top squash player - proud to have played under him at Athlone High and WP schools. #thursdaycoffeedates https://t.co/AMBG6A7JQY
Doman’s cousin Lauren Atkins tweeted from New York in response to the IOL Sport article announcing Doman’s passing: “What a lovely tribute to my cousin. I am devastated. We all are...”
Some of his former teammates at WP and Transvaal, and colleagues and friends took to social media to acknowledge Doman as well…
“Just heard of the passing of another cricketer who I played with in the pre unity era Michael Doman who was critically ill in hospital with a Multiple organ failure as a result of diabetes passed away in the early hours of this morning – Michael was a wonderful human being, a top class cricketer and a gentleman beyond words – May his soul Rest In Peace and condolences to his family.”
Very sad. Michael Doman was a thorough gentleman & a very good sports journalist. RIP https://t.co/c9svnkvz2P
“Like most of us who grew up in the townships on the capeflats, I have many stories to tell. Some sad and then there are those stories about people which give you hope.
“Around 1985 I met a few people who would make a lasting impression on me and showed me that there are better things in life I could aspire to.
“It is thus extremely sad for me when I heard that one of those gentlemen who gave me hope, who showed me I could achieve great things had passed away.
“Sincerest condolences to the family of Michael Doman. He was a kind, caring and truly sincere gentleman. He touched my life positively. May His Soul Rest In Peace.”
Thanks to the late Michael Doman for his contribution as a player & respected journalist over many years. His death has saddened me & I re-read the series he penned to acknowledge former SA Cricket Board players. The title belongs to you Michael #legend #RIP #WP pic.twitter.com/Vw6PFKznE9
“I am truly saddened to learn of the passing away of Michael Doman the former WP batsman and also later a leading sports journalist in Cape Town. He was a member of the dominant WP team and seated next to Saait Magiet who passed away just more than a week ago. Always dignified.”
“Today, we are saddened to hear about the passing of Michael Doman, an anti-apartheid, non-racial cricketer who loved sport when growing up and went on to become a sports journalist and sports editor of the Cape Argus.
“For all who played cricket with Michael Doman during the anti-apartheid era, you will recall Michael being talented, fierce and uncompromising with his non-racial sport principles. Michael was also very involved with anti-apartheid sport protests.
“I recall how he was with anti-apartheid sport administrator Taben Tengimfene and myself in the early 1990s when we protested apartheid tennis being played at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town by delivering a demand for the apartheid tennis event to be stopped.
“We chose Michael Doman as our sensitive and supporting sports media, to inform about our protest. When the apartheid tennis officials threatened to have us arrested by police, Michael was there to protect our cover.
“Really, Michael Doman is gone much too soon. His life in anti-apartheid sport can never be erased, nor his life in sports media.”
Gutted to learn overnight of the passing of our Independent Media Sport Cape Region Co-Ordinator Michael Doman. A humble, talented colleague who in his own quiet way contributed and passed on so much to all of us. He will be sadly missed by all @IOLsport. pic.twitter.com/vafDoBVWXM