The merest suggestion that he does not belong among the definitive all-time greats will spark violence in most bars in South Africa. A batsman who had it all, except a meaningful Test career.
For 20 years an immovable presence in the South African team, of which he was heart, mind and soul. Regarded the cricket ground as his personal zen garden and zoned everything out, to the chagrin of the opposition.
In a word, "Biff". In other words, crushing, dominant, aggressive, huge, courageous, influential, confident (arrogant?), gregarious, liked, loved, and despised. As a player, a man to go to war with. As a captain, a man to lead others into battle.
Perfectly nicknamed "Bunter" after the chubby, bespectacled, exuberant, ever-scheming schoolboy of British fiction fame. Innovative, ambitious and possessed of a fierce competitive spirit. A fine player who endeared himself to all, including opponents.
To see him practising cutting fast bowlers for six was to see supreme confidence on the hoof. Capable of producing the most emphatic strokes, but also of the most damaging errors of judgment.
Devoid of almost all traces of the sportsman's ego. In short, exceedingly human in the most decent way. Scavenged and accumulated his runs, unlike his more purely talented half-brother, Peter.
Not for nothing does his surname rhyme with glue. Accordingly, held the record for the slowest first-class century - 105 in 545 minutes - for 20 years. A man more committed to his cause will never be found.
Telford Vice made his Test debut as a cricket writer in Barbados in 1992 - the match that marked the end of South Africa's isolation