I dont recall exactly when I started playing cricket. However, my early recollection was when I was at Treverton Preparatory School outside Mooi River, which is still operating today. In my last year at this school, I played in the second cricket team. Anton Proctor was captain of the first team. Michael Proctor his younger brother, became a famous cricketer who played for South Africa, who was several classes below me but played for the second team. He batted and bowled before me. At an early age, he showed great potential. Unfortunately, Anton passed away recently. At this stage, I already enjoyed cricket and played throughout my school days, when in the army during my military training, and when I started working.
Playing sport in the army had some advantages. If we due to play rugby or cricket, we were exempt from guard duty, the day before the game, which was great. I recall when I was doing my military training outside Ladysmith. On a Saturday afternoon, we played against the local cricket side in Colenso. After the game, our driver was instructed to drive us to the local hotel. The team was dropped off at the hotel. The driver was then told to park his army vehicle at the end of the street, which was some distance away. Our captain who was a permanent force sergeant major said it was important to have one drink with the opposition after the game. We each were allowed to have one beer, which at the time was highly irregular and against all army rules.
Before the event of television, I obtained great satisfaction from listing to test cricket matches on the radio. Charles Fortune was my favourite cricket commentator.
After stopping playing cricket, I continued to enjoy watching cricket, especially live provincial and international cricket. Today my cricket watching is mainly via television. Thank goodness, we are able to watch live cricket again after several months of no live cricket, during lockdown.
The other day my wife Bev and I were watching a game of cricket on television. She remarked on the exceptional knowledge about cricket that commentators have, especially about quoting several records from the past. My response to her was as a result of their love for the game of cricket, they were able to remember outstanding performances so well. When I was still working I was very honoured to give out the various prizes at the end of a local game. Part of that privilege is that I was invited to watch the game from the President’s suite, which included supper during the dinner break. I was seated with a number of well-known cricketers. It was really fascinating to hear them talk about cricket and the history of this wonderful game, which was unbelievable.
Cricket has given me so much pleasure from playing and watching. Being in retirement, it is great to watch more cricket now, but I do try to limit the number of hours I watch.