Peter Roebuck 1956-2011 November 13, 2011

'Cricket has lost one hell of an intellect'

ESPNcricinfo staff

Tributes for the cricket writer and former Somerset captain Peter Roebuck, who has died in South Africa, aged 55

"RIP Mr Roebuck. Mentor. Maestro. Mate. Thanks for your guidance and friendship. So very sad." - Alex Brown, director of sport, Daily Telegraph and former sports editor of the Sydney Morning Herald

"A magnificent analyst and writer on the game." - Mark Scott, managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

"Nobody cut to the chase more succinctly and nobody saw how the game was and where it was heading better than Peter Roebuck ... [his] incisiveness and the way he delivered was the blueprint for our cricket commentary. He rang me up nearly every week for the last 10 years to talk cricket, and every time I'd put the phone down and have a deeper view of the game." - Kerry O'Keeffe, former Australia spinner and ABC cricket commentator

"We didn't talk so much about the game, more about things around the game. Like corruption and things like Zimbabwe, which he felt pretty strongly about. I enjoyed reading his stuff, at times I read it and didn't get the point, so he wasn't exactly Bill O'Reilly, but he was a damn good writer, a colourful writer and he brought other things in life into it." - Ian Chappell, former Australia captain and fellow commentator

"He was brilliant in his analysis and capacity to talk about everything in cricket. One of the great strengths of having him as a broadcaster was that he covered such a range of things around the game, yet was always precise. He showed a great passion and respect for the game." - Jim Maxwell, ABC cricket commentator

"Devastated. My dear friend and one of the greatest cricket writers ever Peter Roebuck passes away. He was meant to write about cricket in the manner Sachin Tendulkar was born to play it." - Harsha Bhogle, Indian commentator and writer

"I spent much of the past 25 years sharing a press box with Peter Roebuck. Can't believe he won't be there this summer." - Malcolm Conn, chief cricket writer, the Australian

"The death of Peter Roebuck leaves the grass less green and cricket without its most effective investigative journalist," former England captain Tony Greig, on Twitter

"Peter was not only an extremely gifted cricket writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, he was also one of Australia's most popular cricket commentators for the ABC." - Greg Hywood, CEO of Fairfax media

"We are saddened and shocked at this news. Peter was one of the finest cricket writers of his generation. His reporting and commentary were always fair, balanced, and insightful." - Peter Fray, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald

"Pete's reputation will grow and grow as the years pass. A cricket writer of intelligence, empathy and charm whose writing sometimes filled me with awe and always reminded me why the game should be nurtured and treasured." - David Hopps, cricket writer at the Guardian

"He bought particular insight to his commentary based on his lengthy experience as a first-class cricketer and captain, and combined that with a singular flair for the written and spoken word. He spoke his mind frankly and while one didn't necessarily always have to agree, you always respected what he had to say." - James Sutherland, Cricket Australia, chief executive officer

"He was a fierce critic of South African cricket in the unhappy days of the rebel tours but he made a personal tour of South Africa after the completion of the unity process. My late brother, Khaya, who was in charge of the development programmes, took him on tours of the various townships and he became one of our best supporters. He personally arranged bursaries so that some of the township players emerging at that time could gain experience by playing club cricket in England." - Gerald Majola, Cricket South Africa, chief executive officer

"We express our condolences to his friends and family. We were expecting to reap the benefits of his experience in the field of cricket writing for many years." - Paena Galane, spokesperson for Fikile Mbalula, South Africa's sports minister

"He was a fantastic writer cum commentator, one of the best in this generation. He was someone who was very opinionated, but was very independent. I looked forward to reading what he wrote about but more importantly how he wrote it. He had this incredible ability to use words to make the game of cricket and the players come alive. It was also wonderful that he loved India and coming to India." - Rahul Dravid, India batsman

"I don't think anyone in cricket writing had a voice like Peter's when he arrived on the scene in the early 1980s. You only have to contrast the way we wrote about cricket in the 1970s to the way we write it now - Peter has been responsible I think for a lot of those developments." - Gideon Haigh, cricket historian and writer

"Peter Roebuck was a tortured, driven soul, but his suicide still comes as a shock. Cricket has lost its most erudite idealist." - Derek Pringle, former England cricketer and current cricket correspondent of Daily Telegraph

"RIP Peter Roebuck. I didn't agree with everything you wrote about cricket but f*** I loved the way you wrote it..." - Wil Anderson, Australian comedian

"The news of Peter's death is extremely sad. He was such a gifted man, both as a cricketer and a writer." - Mike Brearley, former England captain

"Shocked to hear the sad news from Cape Town, RIP Peter Roebuck a great cricketing mind." - Tom Moody, former Australia allrounder

"Cricket has lost one hell of an intellect and a bloke who cared deeply about the game. I always read Peter Roebuck with complete admiration." - Lawrence Booth, editor of the Wisden Almanack

"Shocking and sad news about Peter Roebuck. One of the two or three best writers on cricket in the world," - John Stern, former editor of The Wisden Cricketer

"My God. Just heard about Peter Roebuck. Loved working with him. Incisive. Erudite. Funny." - Jonathan Agnew, BBC cricket correspondent and former England bowler

"Very sad news: Peter Roebuck, former Somerset batsman and one of the finest sportswriters around, has died at the age of 55." - Phillippe Auclair, sports journalist and author of Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King

"Peter taught me so. He took the time to share his thoughts on the game he loved so much. A wordsmith of the highest quality." - Peter Walsh, ABC broadcaster

"We love an opinion, whether we agree or not. We've just lost a great polariser." - Iain O'Brien, former New Zealand bowler

"Peter was caustic, opinionated, brilliant & funny, a man who could make you laugh, get pissed off or say, 'why couldn't I put it that way?'" - Kadambari Murali-Wade, editor-in-chief, Sports Illustrated India

"Can't believe that Peter Roebuck is no more...met him a couple of times and read him a million times. One of my favourite cricket writers. R.I.P." - Aakash Chopra, former India batsman

"Very, very depressed. A friend and one of the world's greatest cricket writers Peter Roebuck is no more. Roebuck was a cricket intellectual. He always saw the game 'beyond the boundary' which made his writing so special." - Rajdeep Sardesai, editor-in-chief, IBN network

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  • Neil on November 14, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    His 2nd book, 'It never rains...' is still my favourite cricket book....not a bad batsmen either...I once saw him hook Sylvester Clarke for 6...not many tried that and got away with it....RIP..Peter

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    Peter was a very fine cricket writer. He always challenged received opinion, and took the reader outside his comfort zone. I didn't always agree with him, but cricket journalism will be a poorer place without him.

  • Alan on November 14, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    Well, that news is certainly a shock. I remember him as a player as well as a writer and commentator. I was impressed on occasions by his honesty and balance (for instance I remember his questioning England's tactics of delaying in order to take advantage of the ridiculous rain rule during the 1992 word cup semi-final, even though he was English). I enjoyed his Slices of cricket and his book on the 1986-7 Ashes. As a player and a captain I don't agree with the view sometimes suggested that he was the best captain England never had, but I do think he was a victim of some unfair publicity when invovled in the controversial decision to change Somerset's overseas players in 1986 (a decision which also led Richards and Garner, and ultimately also Ian Botham, to leave the county). It hardly yielded instant success but the team was struggling already and it was a brave decision by Roebuck and they got some impressive overseas players as replacements (e.g., Martin Crowe and Steve Waugh).

  • Powderdubdub on November 14, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    Very very sad news. A genius when it came to writing about the world of cricket, I am going to miss his writings and comments, RIP Peter Roebuck.

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    An outstanding writer on the great game. I recall upon Sangakkara's lecture at lords, Mr. Roebuck wrote a supremely articulate piece challenging us all, the cricket loving public, to rise above our petty flaws that divide in order to preserve the integrity of the game and truly make it an agent for meaningful change our world's need and long for. Perhaps the greatest tribute to him would be to be a proactive part of this challenge. I'll start with me.

  • Philip on November 14, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    The true voice of cricket has dimmed.

  • Satish on November 14, 2011, 3:46 GMT

    Sad.. He was a good writer..

  • Ron on November 14, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    I fear that the follow up investigation might reveal things that got me thinking following his 2002 controversy. We'll soon know....

  • Gopalakrishna on November 14, 2011, 1:40 GMT

    Peter Roebuck was a friendly journalist. I had a couple of meetings with him whenever he used to cover Australia's matches in Bangalore. The last occasion I met him was during the Australia matches at Bangalore in World Cup 2011. He always used to call me as "Stats Man". - HR Gopala Krishna - Cricket Statistician - Bangalore

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    Peter the witty,knowledgeable and forthright broadcaster we will you miss dearly. May your closest friends and family know that his comments will sorely missed.May you know that in this game called life it too stops early for bad light RIP

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