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Thread: Clive Rice

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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Clive Rice

    I've always heard Clive Rice spoken of as a player of exceptional quality, but I don't think I ever saw him play (well, maybe a JPL match or two in the mid-1980s but that's about it).

    Can anyone give us some information about him? Anyone see him play? I know that he was a pace bowler of some sort, of course, but exactly what sort of a bowler was he - seamer? Swing bowler? Fast-medium? Out-and-out quick? Was he better with ball or bat?

    Any information gratefully received.

    Z

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    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    I've never seen any clips of him myself. But from my tedious research over the years, in the 70s like his fellow protea Procter, he was a top all-rounder combing solid pace with excellent batting ability.

    In the 80s when he went to Notts & linked up Hadlee with the new ball, he became a top swing bowler. Not too sure if his batting prowess decreased during this period though...

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Seem to remember le knowing quite a bit about him but sadly he's disappeared again currently.
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    Hall of Fame Member social's Avatar
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    Played in Oz during WSC and he was potentially one of the top all-rounders of all time.

    Of the 2 cricketers to whom he was most similar, I'd say that he was potentially far better than Tony Greig and almost certain to be more consistent than Botham

    Unfortunately, he didnt play international cricket until he was 42 and years past his best due to SA's ban
    Last edited by social; 01-06-2009 at 02:00 AM.


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    International Coach weldone's Avatar
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    Saw him in International Cricket when he was quite past his prime, but always heard that he was one of the best all-rounders of the great all-rounders' era; and potentailly one of the best of all-time, alongwith his countrymen Mike Procter. Procter was the better bowler, and Rice the better batsman. In that sense, Procter was a bowling all-rounder, and Rice was a more rounded (not necessarily better) all-rounder than Procter. He was a bowler with genuine pace (heard he was as fast as Hadlee) and capability of huge swings in both ways; and an aggressive batsman with cracking copybook attacking shots in the off-side, especially cuts of all kinds (a la Javed Miandad). Had superlative performances in FC Cricket of high quality, and in the rebel tours. An all-time great in 5 day cricket, he was even more useful in limited overs cricket. Would have been a gem today, even in the IPL
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    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    I've always heard Clive Rice spoken of as a player of exceptional quality, but I don't think I ever saw him play (well, maybe a JPL match or two in the mid-1980s but that's about it).

    Can anyone give us some information about him? Anyone see him play? I know that he was a pace bowler of some sort, of course, but exactly what sort of a bowler was he - seamer? Swing bowler? Fast-medium? Out-and-out quick? Was he better with ball or bat?

    Any information gratefully received.

    Z
    He is very highly spoken of but its very difficult to come across much about him in print.

    I have been cataloguing portraits of cricketers that I have in books in my library. Its a slow progress and I will take some time to finish it but I already have a list of just about 1500 articles so far and there is only one on Clive Rice ! By Botham in his book Botham's Hundred. Here is what Botham has to say of Rice.

    Botham on Clive Rice (Excerpts)
    If I've come across a more determined cricketer than Rice, his name has slipped my memory. It must be part of the bullish South African make-up, but he has always been totally focussed, if not consumed, by cricket. Even in benefit games and knockabout tournaments, his will to win was always obsessive. . . .

    So, how good was he? Well if I had to chose between Rice and Proctor as South Africa's best all rounder of modern times, it would be so closed, I would have to call it a photo (finish).

    As a pugnacious batsman, he was good enough to walk into the top five of any international side in his day. He was never afraid to take on the fast bowlers - in fact the Nottinghamshire boys reckoned courage and temprament were the hallmarkes of his batting. And while he wasn't the tallest bowler in the world, Rice's fast-medium pace was not to be taken lightly. He was canny, resourceful and his bouncer was pretty slippery to put it mildly.

    He led Notts to a Lord's Cup Final double in 1987 and he would have been one of the first names on my teamsheet in one-day cricket, so South Africa's desicion to omit Rice from their World Cup squad of 1992 was all the more baffling. . . our (England's) task would have been that much harder if Rice had been in the opposition. . .

    That side he captained at Trent Bridge had the likes of Richard Hadlee and Derek Randall in the ranks, was a formidable outfit, but make no mistake: there was only one boss. He called the shots in the dressing room and what he said, went - no arguments. Bearing in mind the temperaments of people like Raggs and Richards, Rice must have been an outstanding man-manager with more subtlety to his approach than met the eye. But when he needed to be, he could be utterly uncompromising.

    Recognition of his contribution to the game came with his inclusion in the Rest of the World XI for MCC's bicentenary match at Lord's, a showcase for the best cricketers of the planet - precisely the sort of company Clive Rice deserved to be keeping.
    Last edited by SJS; 02-06-2009 at 12:13 AM.

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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    Thanks guys - not least SJS for the extract.

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    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    Thanks guys - not least SJS for the extract.
    I am sure you must have seen it but there is this Wisden citation on his being nominated one of the five cricketers of the Year 1981.

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    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    even though he was past his prime i had the pleasure of watching him represent his country on SA's return to international cricket in '91. ofcourse, he was nowhere near a worldclass allrounder he was supposed to be. but seeing a passionate cricketer lead his team in an international game after two decades of hardwork was an inspirational moment. the MCC vs ROW match at lords in 1987 (the one mentioned in botham's book posted by SJS) featured him with some of the greatest cricketers in world at that moment. he batted well against an attack comprising of imran, walsh, kapil and qadir. went wicketless but so did hadlee. from what little i remember of him from this innings as a batsman at least he would definitely have been able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the five great all-rounders of the 70s and 80s (imran, botham, kapil, greig and hadlee).
    Last edited by bagapath; 02-06-2009 at 03:25 AM.

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    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
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    Is any clips of him around anywhere though?. Have searched for the 2-3 years haven't found anything..

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    Hall of Fame Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    He wasn't as good a bowler as Hadlee but was certainly a genuine third seamer - as a batsman he wasn't as entertaining as Randall or as spectacular as Hadlee but was a more reliable batsman than either

    When I was a teenager I went to a CC game between Hampshire and Surrey at Bournemouth - some loud mouthed East Midlander kept screaming out "Come on Cliveeeeee - bat properly lad" for an hour or so - folk left him be as he looked pretty mean but eventually my Dad got so fed up that he decided to point out that Hampshire's flaxen haired John Rice was not his "Cliveeeee" nor related to him.

    "Well **** that I'm off then - I only came here to see Clive Rice - he's the best batsman in the world" was, much to everyone's relief, his last word before leaving. John Rice celebrated his departure too by finally hitting the ball off the square - he actually turned to acknowledge his absent supporter

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    Evil Scotsman Furball's Avatar
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    Looking at his stats on Cricinfo - 26,000 FC runs at a shade under 41, and 930 wickets at 22.

    Not a bad record at all.

    Who is the Proctor that Botham is referring to? All searches on cricinfo are coming up blank.

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    International Vice-Captain Noble One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    Looking at his stats on Cricinfo - 26,000 FC runs at a shade under 41, and 930 wickets at 22.

    Not a bad record at all.

    Who is the Proctor that Botham is referring to? All searches on cricinfo are coming up blank.
    Mike Procter | South Africa Cricket | Cricket Players and Officials | Cricinfo.com

    A player who's loss to the International game was as big as Pollock and Richards.

    Fantastic all-rounder. Undoubtedly one of the finest all-rounders of the post war era.

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    Evil Scotsman Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble One View Post
    Mike Procter | South Africa Cricket | Cricket Players and Officials | Cricinfo.com

    A player who's loss to the International game was as big as Pollock and Richards.

    Fantastic all-rounder. Undoubtedly one of the finest all-rounders of the post war era.
    Thought it was Mike Proctor, cricinfo came up blank when I searched it.

    Found him though, via the 2nd Test scorecard vs Australia in that famous series.

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    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    Looking at his stats on Cricinfo - 26,000 FC runs at a shade under 41, and 930 wickets at 22.

    Not a bad record at all.

    Who is the Proctor that Botham is referring to? All searches on cricinfo are coming up blank.
    What a tragedy that a cricket lover should ask this question about one of the finest all rounders the game has seen and who played not all that long ago really. This is exactly my problem with our preoccupation with stats (of international contests) to all else in our understanding of cricketers before our times. I wish cricket fans would invest a fraction of the time they spend on sites on the internet (which surely they do because they love the game) to read about the greats of bygone eras and the rewards will be much greater than they can imagine.

    Here is what some greats have to say of Proctor. Ted Dexter writes very succinctly on Proctor's batting.

    Ted Dexter (Fabulous batsman, England Captain in the 1960's and later Test Selector) :
    Proctor has such prodigious talent that it is hard to know in which of my somewhat vague categories to put him. Obviously he is an all-rounder of the highest class, but he could well go among the big hitters, certainly can keep company with some of the fastest scoring batsmen of all time, but could just as easily rest amongst the batting stylists.

    He should, however, be included in any anthology of batsmen for one specific trait. That is the high ratio of boundaries to any other form of score. . . Statistically there could be a number of reasons for such an imbalance. Unless you were to know otherwise, it could be that he was a very slow or indifferent runner between wickets, whereas the truth is very much the opposite. It could be that he was merely a slogger applying maximum power to every shot on a hit or miss basis. Neither of these possibilities is anywehere near the mark. The truth lies nearer to straightforward technique and basic ability.

    To illustrate this . . for the Rest of the World Under Sobers). . There were a fair number of runs already on board, Proctor's job was to push the score along. When he played an absolutely passive dead bat to the first few deliveries the bowler might have thought he was to be let off lightly. With hardly much ado the next two balls went sizzling to the boundariy, then that impassive block again, then two more crashing blows. Each ball was played strictly on merit and the slightest hint of a scoring opportunity was turned to immediate and maximum profit.

    With some lesser players a tendency to wait and wait for a bad ball to hit for four is the worst possib;e contribution to an effective bating partnership with the man at the other end, especially when the said player, having waited for five balls, is desperate for a single off the sixth! No such criticism could ever be levelled at Proctor because he was never long in waiting for the ball that could turn into a boundary scoring opportunity.

    For this reason it must be said that his batting lacks a certain fluency which would typify an innings by Graveney or Cowdrey perhaps. There is a certain staccato element, or should I say a hint, of the big drum being beaten from time to time rather than the far more constant song of the violin. Such an analogy is, of course, altogether too disparaging. It would take a dedicated musician indeed to go to a concert just to hear the bass drummer, whereas Proctor has always been high on my list of batsmen who were eminently worth watching. If I had the choice on any given day of watching either him or barry Richards, I think I would settle the matter with the toss of a coin, and, of course, in their historical time and place they rank together.

    The tributes have fallen thick and fast. Here is Peter Pollock:
    "The timing and sheer grace as the left foot moves forward, followed by a high back-lift and a precision down-swing, seems as effortless as a gazelle bounding through the open veldt. One could even assume that Mike could play the cover drive before he started walking. . . It is rather strange that Mike Proctor the bowler should be so much more unorthodox and that his batting, fielding, throwing and catching should ooze textbook method and charm."
    Alan Gibson:
    "Proctor's development as a cricketer has been much influenced by Gloucestershire, because Gloucestershire in his time have needed a hundred wickets (much) more than two thousand runs. In South Africa where he scored his six successive centuries in 1970-71 (equalling the record of Fry and Bradman), he has always been able to do more justice to his batting. Even so, I have always felt, Gloucestershire put him in too high in the order. He has great strength, but he is mortal, and nobody can be expected to take all the wickets and score all the runs on seven days of a week."
    It has been suggested that, without denying Proctor's great abilities, he is something of a slogger in the manner of the immortal Jessop. For example his longest innings in 1979 was 122 in 104 minutes but writes Wisden Cricket Monthly -
    'nobody who has ever seen him bat could possibly suggest that his bat is anything but straight. His hitting in the air is deliberate and don't let us forget that when the ball is struck hard and high no fielder, Derek Randall included, can do much about it. His favourite area is the arc between cover and dead staright - not an area where sloggers usually specialise. . . Yes, the great Gilbert Jessop himself, scorer of twelve hundreds in under an hour, would have approved of Mike Proctor. . . Rumour has it that Jessop scored his runs at a remarkable 80 runs an hour. Well, in the last four matches of 1879, Proctor usually exceeded that rate.

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