Former South African first-class cricketer Mario Saliwa has died aged 31. Reports suggested he had been stabbed last weekend.

Saliwa played 67 first-class and 20 List A games for three teams - Free State, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Eagles (now called Knights) - between 2006 and 2010 and was described as "one of the most feared bowlers of his generation," by Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana, who knew him well.

Toyana, in a post on Facebook, said Saliwa was highly regarded as a youngster: "At some point in him we saw another Makhaya Ntini. We will always miss your bounce and unbelievable pace even the likes of Abongile Sodumo were not comfortable to face this guy."

CSA also paid their respects. "It is always tragic to see a young life being cut short in its prime. On behalf of the CSA family I extend our thoughts and condolences to his family, friends and cricketing colleagues," Haroon Lorgat, CSA CEO said.