South African allrounder Saait Maajiet dies at 66

South African fans show their support on the fifth day at Newlands Getty Images

Dashing South African allrounder Saait Magiet, whose career was adversely affected by apartheid during the prime years of his career, died on holiday in Malaysia yesterday of a heart attack. He was 66.

An opening bowler and middle-order batsman, Maajiet played for - and captained - the Western Province Cricket Board (WPCB), and was chosen for the South African Cricket Board (SACB) national teams. A right-arm bowler and batsman, Maajiet began playing in 1971 at the age of 19, his career spanning 20 years until just after unity. He represented the WPCB on 64 occasions in first-class matches, in addition to numerous limited-overs contests, and made 2,397 runs (including three centuries) and took 169 wickets at a remarkable average of 12.71. He played a key role in non-white cricket at the height of apartheid rule. An allrounder in many senses of the word, he also captained the City and Suburban Board rugby team as a loose forward.

His elder brother Rushdie Maajiet also played 37 times for Western Province, in addition to representing the SACB.

Cricket South Africa extended its condolences, issuing a statement saying it had heard "with shock and sadness" that Maajiet had died in Malaysia.

"Saait and his elder brother, Rushdi, were two of the legends of the game under the auspices of SACBOC and later the SACB, and both would undoubtedly have represented a unified South African cricket team had the opportunity existed," CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said. "On behalf of the CSA family I extend our condolences to his family, friends and cricket colleagues."