Allan Anthony Donald
October 20, 1966, Bloemfontein, Orange Free State
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
If the credit for South Africa's success in the modern era could be given to one player, that cricketer would be Allan Donald. A classical action and top-drawer pace would have won him a place in any side in his prime, and for much of his career he was the only world-class performer in the South African team, spearing the ball in, shaping it away and always making things happen. His strike rate was below 50 in Tests and close to 30 in one-day internationals. Inevitably, he was over-bowled and the injuries began to accumulate in the twilight of his career. He quit Test cricket after breaking down in the crushing defeat by Australia at Johannesburg in 2001-02, retired from ODIs a year later, after South Africa's exit from the 2003 World Cup, and from all cricket a year later as his physical deterioration accelerated. Of Afrikaans stock, Donald speaks English with a slight Birmingham accent - at least, to South African ears - picked up during his lengthy spell as Warwickshire's overseas professional, a role he filled with distinction. No living South African player, past or present, commands as much respect from the public and his peers as Donald, the first bowler from his country to take 300 Test wickets. He transferred his huge knowledge of quick bowling to the commentary box and coaching and took up the role of bowling coach with England in 2007. However, when it was offered full time he turned it down, wanting to spend more time with his family, and instead took up a role with Warwickshire where he had enjoyed years of success as an overseas player in 1990s.
Batting & Fielding