Cricket Scotland has announced a fundraising appeal for 37-year-old left-arm spinning allrounder Con de Lange after it was revealed by his family over the weekend that de Lange is suffering from a brain tumour.
De Lange had been missing from Scotland's squads since the end of 2017, with team officials opting to refrain from comment when asked about his prolonged absence. The only communication on his health status came in the announcement of Scotland's squad for the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe this past March, when a press release stated that de Lange "was unavailable for selection consideration due to an ongoing health issue".
A press release on Monday from Cricket Scotland stated that de Lange was diagnosed with a brain tumour approximately 10 months ago. De Lange has since undergone various forms of medical treatment - including an operation, radiation and chemotherapy - in an effort to battle the illness.
"Cricket Scotland continues to support Con and his family and we have respected his wishes for confidentiality throughout this difficult period," Cricket Scotland chief executive Malcolm Cannon said in the press release. "Con has been a superb servant to the game of cricket in Scotland and is a very popular member of the squad. We are now delighted to help the cause by spreading the word throughout the broader cricketing family both at home and overseas, and we know there will be an overwhelming level of support from this close-knit community."
De Lange last played for Scotland on November 25 in the second ODI against Papua New Guinea in Dubai, at which time he was serving as Scotland's vice-captain. He was named in the Scotland squad against Ireland for the final round of the Intercontinental Cup, which started in the UAE a few days after the ODIs against PNG, as well as Scotland's squad against Kenya for the final round of the WCL Championship in Dubai in the first week of December.
But according to several sources, de Lange was kept out of those matches against Ireland and Kenya in Dubai while suffering from severe migraine headaches. Further testing upon his return home to Scotland revealed a far more serious diagnosis.
The South Africa native has been a key member of Scotland's teams since making his debut for his adopted home in June 2015, staking out a reputation as a handy middle and lower-order batsman and exceptional fielder in addition to his steady bowling. His best performance was a crucial 5 for 60 against Zimbabwe in the summer of 2017 to help secure a famous win, Scotland's first ever in ODIs against a Full Member nation. Prior to playing for Scotland, he played 31 first-class matches for Cape Cobras in South Africa and then briefly with Northamptonshire on the county cricket circuit in England.
Cricket Scotland and the de Lange family are appealing for donations to be made to The Brain Tumour Charity to help support him and others fighting this disease.