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May 27, 2007
Tributes have flowed in from different parts of the world following the death of Percy Sonn
"He was one of the pioneers of non-racial cricket in South Africa, and was an administrator at the highest levels for more than four decades. It was a great tribute for South African and world cricket that he was able to rise from playing as a youngster in the dusty streets of the townships to the highest office in world cricket. Sonn fought apartheid as both a cricketer and a civil rights lawyer with vigour and great courage. He was equally energetic and effective in bringing about cricket unity in South Africa with the formation of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) in 1991 after more than 100 years of division on racial lines."
Gerald Majola, chief executive, Cricket South Africa
"Sonn's death is a great loss and the cricket world is aggrieved. The whole cricket world will mourn his death in the days to come. His contribution was great and the cricket world will always remember him."
Nasim Ashraf, chairman, Pakistan Cricket Board
"Percy Sonn has completed less than one year of his three-year term and international cricket has been robbed of his skilful and dedicated leadership by his sad and untimely passing. He has done a huge amount of good work in re-establishing cricket as a sport for all the people in South Africa throughout the apartheid years and afterwards. As president of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, he did so much to ensure that the 2003 World Cup was a success "
David Morgan, chairman, England and Wales Cricket Board.
"Percy Sonn's untimely death has come as a great shock to all of us in India. On behalf of BCCI and on my personal behalf I extend my condolences to Mrs. Sonn and her family."
Sharad Pawar, president, Board of Control for Cricket in India
"As a cricket administrator and a man, Percy Sonn was a giant. In all the circles in which he moved, he commanded a huge amount of respect and that was never more obvious than when he was in an ICC board meeting. Percy never spoke for the sake of it but when he did speak people listened. He was one of the most intelligent men I have ever met and cricket will be much the poorer for his passing."
Ehsan Mani, Sonn's predecessor as ICC president.
"I will always associate Percy with one of the happiest moments of my career as he was the man who handed over the Cricket World Cup trophy to the Australia team at the end of the tournament in Barbados last month ... And to think he is no longer with us less than a month later is a huge shock."
Ricky Ponting, Australian captain.
"Percy was never afraid to speak his mind but his great skill, especially in meetings where discord was possible, was to do so in such a way that he got everyone together and pulling in the same direction. Percy was utterly committed to the game at all levels and his mantras were that the game had to be inclusive rather than exclusive and that it had to be played the right way, to be true to the Spirit of Cricket."
Malcolm Speed, chief executive, ICC.
"This is a terrible shock and a devastating piece of news as I have lost a close personal friend. I know Percy was so proud to represent South Africa and the whole continent of Africa as the ICC's first president from this part of the world and he filled the role with great dignity and strength."
Ray Mali, president, Cricket South Africa.
"Percy Sonn will be mourned throughout the cricketing world, but in particular in his home town of Cape Town where he was a larger-than-life figure. His was involved in the administration of Western Province cricket for 40 years and his influence and legacy was huge. He stands next to figures like Hassan Howa as a hero of our cricket struggles and our cricket development in this province. In his various roles, he has made a major contribution to South African society."
Mohamed Ebrahim, president, Western Province Cricket Association
"As a friend and colleague of Percy Sonn for many years, this news is devastating to me as I have lost a friend. Percy was an inspiration to me and a true leader. His contribution to African Cricket and Global Cricket was enormous and a big vacuum has been left with his passing. Percy was a man of great leadership, courage and passion, and not only for cricket, he also played a major role in our democratic South Africa and fighting for democracy in the country."
Cassim Suliman, chief executive, Africa Cricket Association
"Percy devoted a large portion of his life to cricket, initially within South Africa and then globally through his role at the ICC, and we will miss him. Personally, what impressed me most was that he had a vision for cricket developing as a genuinely world sport".
Creagh O'Connor, chairman, Cricket Australia.
"Mr Sonn ensured Pakistan got a fair trial in the Oval case and because of his efforts the truth prevailed. Sonn backed Pakistan's legal stance and because of him, the investigations were impartial and ended in Pakistan's victory. Personally I admired [Sonn's] love for cricket and under him international cricket prospered a great deal."
Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan captain
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