Johannesburg: Former South Africa spinner and Zimbabwe selector, John Harcourt du Preez has died at the age of 77 after a prolonged illness.
In a media release, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said du Preez, fondly known has Jackie, passed away on Wednesday in Harare, Zimbabwe. He had been suffering from a heart condition for some time.
He was one of the many Zimbabweans to play for South Africa under the banner of the South African Cricket Association in his country’s pre-independence days.
Part of a rare breed of leg-spinners in South African domestic cricket in the 1960s, he was also a good enough batsman to be regarded as a genuine all-rounder and he represented South Africa in the final two Test matches against Australia in the 1966-67 season.
“On behalf of the CSA Family I extend our deepest condolences his family, friends and cricketing colleagues,” said CSA Acting Chief Executive Dr Jacques Faul.
Du Preez was also an outstanding fielder and combined with Eddie Barlow in a boundary edge double play to run out Bill Lawry before the Australian opening batsman had faced a ball in the final Test match of that series at St George’s Park.
In a first-class career that lasted nearly 20 years, he made more than 4,000 runs, including a century, and took 296 wickets. He also took 80 catches.