Clive Edward Butler Rice
July 23, 1949, Johannesburg, Transvaal
July 28, 2015, Johannesburg, Gauteng, (aged 66y 5d)
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
If Clive Rice's timing served him well through a first-class career that embraced four decades, it let him down badly in international terms. Rice made his first-class debut in 1969, a year before South Africa's last Test series prior to isolation. Although he captained his country on their three-ODI comeback tour of India in 1991, just months later he was deemed, at 42, to be too old to take South Africa to the 1992 World Cup.
A record containing just three one-day internationals suggests a moderate cricketer, but Rice was far from that. Through the 1970s and 80s, for Transvaal and Nottinghamshire, he was one of the game's leading allrounders - a punishing right-handed batsman with one of the most savage cuts in cricket, a seamer capable of genuine pace through the 1970s and a captain as hard-headed as any in the business. He attracted the attention of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket - in itself recognition of his abilities - and was an automatic choice for the South African teams against the rebel tourists of the 1980s. He was also the epitome of the modern professional cricketer, quick to recognise the financial opportunities that began to arise in the game.
Rice was at the centre of one of South African cricket's silliest
controversies when he posed naked except for a strategically-placed (and
pointedly-named) "Jumbo" bat. It was also almost impossible to come across a
photograph of him in his heyday without an "Avis" cap covering a receding
hairline. Rice was the driving force behind the Transvaal "Mean Machine" in
the 1970s and 80s, similarly urging Nottinghamshire to success during the
same period. Sadly, he was discarded by both South Africa and Transvaal at
the end of his career, eventually moving to Natal where, with Malcolm
Marshall, he helped shape the formidable talents of Shaun Pollock, Lance
Klusener and Jonty Rhodes. He subsequently returned to Trent Bridge as cricket manager. Rice was diagnosed with brain tumour at the age of 49, and eventually died because of it 17 years later in Cape Town.
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