Cape Town - Cricket South Africa (CSA) has expressed its sadness at the passing on Monday of Clive van Ryneveld at the age of 89.
Van Ryneveld was one of South Africa’s greatest all-round sportsmen who represented and captained South Africa at cricket and represented England at rugby during his time as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, but he will be remembered equally for the role he played in trying to create a just society for all in South Africa.
A top-order batsman, leg-spin bowler and brilliant fielder, he was one of several young players to be capped on the tour to England in 1951 and in all he played in 19 Test matches against England, New Zealand and Australia being captain in four matches each against England and Australia in the 1956/57 and 1957/58 seasons.
By that time he had little opportunity for practice or playing as he was building up his legal practice and in addition became one of the founding members of the Progressive Party under the inspired leadership of the legendary Helen Suzman and also served a term in Parliament, representing one of the East London constituencies.
As a lawyer he assisted Basil d’Oliveira and other similarly disadvantaged sportsmen with their contracts that enabled them to fulfil the professional careers as sportsmen they had been denied in South Africa.
CSA Acting Chief Executive Thabang Moroe paid tribute to Van Ryneveld: “On behalf of the CSA Family I extend our deepest condolences to his family, his friends and his many cricketing colleagues. Apart from being an outstanding all-round sportsman he did his utmost to create a level playing field for all South Africans.”