South Africa v West Indies, 1st Test, Jo'burg, 3rd day

Swapping outfields for fairways

The commentators for the South Africa-West Indies series include some of the past greats of the game

Roving Reporter by Keith Lane at the Wanderers

December 14, 2003

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Pat Symcox: now a public speaker and a golfer
© Getty Images

The commentators for the South Africa-West Indies series include some of the past greats of the game. Even though they now work in television and radio, they also have lives outside the game - and for most of them it's on the golf course.

Barry Richards, regarded as one of the best opening batsman the world has produced, had his Test career shortened by South Africa's isolation, robbing thousands of the chance to witness his class. Today, Richards lives in Australia, where he spends as much time as possible on the golf course. When he's not making birdies, or is not involved with Queensland, he is in the gym working on his fitness. But he insists that the friends he has made in his career are still important to him, and he enjoys a glass or two of red wine with them as he travels the world with his work.

Kepler Wessels, who played for both Australia and South Africa, is a busy man throughout the year. In the South African season he coaches Eastern Province, and then takes charge at Northamptonshire in the English summer. Wessels is a fitness fanatic, and painfully so. If he is not in the gym, he will be out on the road running. The competitiveness is still there too - he is now on his way to making the South African archery team for the next Olympics.

Daryll Cullinan is in the middle of a successful season with Easterns. He has opened three sport clinics in South Africa, attracting talented sportsmen from all parts to his holiday camps, which he hopes will put something back into the game. Most of his other spare time is taken up by a son who loves cricket, but wants to become a golfer.

Pat Symcox, meanwhile, is kept busy with his successful cricket website. Being a popular promotional speaker also takes him to all areas of the country, where he has the chance to play golf on the numerous courses. Living on the south coast of Natal, Symcox's other love is angling, and he has spent many an hour casting into the sea. Apart from watching his son Russell, an opening bowler for KwaZulu-Natal, Pat also collects cricket books and memorabilia.

Fanie de Villiers has his own TV cricket talk show, and is also involved in three businesses, as diverse from each other as possible: hydraulics, telecommunications and security. But he loves to get out for a game of tennis, or the inevitable golf. He also does a lot for charity, stemming from his daughter's hearing problem. He has arranged and collected thousands for the charity HEAR.

Robin Jackman, the former England bowler who's now a South African resident, spends most of his time behind the mike, which allows him to see as much cricket as possible. When he has a spare moment at home, he helps his wife with a golf-promotion company. Putting together golf tours and corporate days keeps them occupied, but planning a supporters' tour for the 2007 World Cup is keeping him from playing as much golf as he would like.

Colin Croft, the former West Indies fast bowler, is now the facility manager of the sports centre at the University of West Indies, where he keeps a finger on the coaching side of the game. A qualified engineer and holder of a commercial pilot's licence, Croft plans to renew his fulltime licence in 2004 - so look out for a familiar voice from the cockpit: "This is your captain, Colin Croft ..."

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