HARARE – Mike Procter, who died in Durban last week aged 77 following complications with surgery, has been honoured by his ex-teammates from Zimbabwe who held a lunch on Tuesday in memory of the South African legend.

Procter – a fiery fast bowler and powerful-hitter with the bat – played Currie Cup cricket for Rhodesia (Zimbabwe’s name before 1980) in the 1970s against South African provinces and scored a record six consecutive first-class centuries for the neighbouring countries.

The South African great, who also has legendary status at English county side Gloucestershire, is one of only three men in world cricket to have smashed six first-class tons on the trot, the other two being the iconic pair of Englishman CB Fry and Australian luminary Sir Don Bradman.

Michael John Procter was born on 15 September 1946 in Durban, passing on in his hometown on 17 February 2024.

A lunch was held for him today (Tuesday) at Garfunkels Restaurant at Harare by former Rhodesia teammates and other Zimbabwean cricket personalities he rubbed shoulders with during his time in this country.

Procter played for Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) in the 1970-01 season and again 1972-73, when he took a record 59 wickets in eight Currie Cups appearances. In 1970, he scored six successive first -class centuries for Rhodesia, and became the only third batsman in the world to achieve this record. His highest score was 254 runs against Western Province.

The lunch was attended by Procter’s former team mates and national players that included John McPhun, Raymond Gripper, Vincent Hogg, Andy Pycroft and Robin Brown.  Others in attendance were Rob Davenport – a very close friend who hosted Procter during his playing days in Harare – Lew Hughes, Keith Boshi, Tim Tanser, Basil Robinson and yours truly.  

A toast was proposed in memory of Procter by the oldest player, Raymond Gripper, who recalled Procter’s role in the team as the captain and mentor, always leading from the front.  Gripper rated him as greatest all-rounder to represent the country. Other national players all remembered and reminisced on their individual experiences with Procter.

Lew Hughes, a former cricketer and administrator, was thanked for organising the event.

*Nick Chouhan, who attended the lunch in memory of Mike Procter, is a former Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board member who has many years of experience in cricket administration. He is also a keen historian of the game in addition to being a one-time sports broadcaster on Zimbabwean radio.


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