Wilf Diedricks dies aged 64
Former South African umpire Wilf Diedricks died early on Tuesday morning after a lengthy illness at the age of 64.
Diedricks became a well-known figure in South African cricket as a first-class umpire post-1991. But his contribution to non-racial cricket from the mid-1970s to 1991, both at provincial level in Kwazulu Natal and nationally, was enormous.
In the 1969 season, he linked up with Universals Cricket Club in the Durban Districts Cricket Union at Tills Crescent. It was during this time that he began his umpiring career. Diedricks stopped playing just prior to the first attempt at unity in 1976-1977 and together with Krish Mackerdhuj and Sagren Naidoo, joined the umpiring ranks.
He helped to establish the Natal Umpires Body which was followed by the SA Cricket Board Umpires Association. In his first assignment, under the auspices of the United Cricket Board, Diedricks, along with Brian Jerling, umpired the match between Eastern Province B and Natal B at the University of Port Elizabeth .
Diedricks' first four-day game was a New Year affair at St Georges Park in a match between Eastern province, captained by Kepler Wessels, and Orange Free State, led by Hansie Cronje.
He officiated in just the one Test, between South Africa and India in Port Elizabeth in 1992-93. He also stood in 31 ODIs, the last being the Standard Bank Triangular Tournament match in 2001 between South Africa and Kenya.
Diedricks is survived by his wife Ethne, a cricket scorer, and his four children.
Cassim Docrat, the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union chief executive, said the passing away of Diedricks was a tremendous loss to South African cricket. "He was a person who had committed and dedicated his life to the improvement of the game in all facets," he said. "His administrative skills will be sadly missed and we extend our condolences to his family during this difficult time."