Cricket South Africa (CSA) has heard with sadness of the passing of Jackie du Preez in Harare, Zimbabwe, yesterday at the age of 77. He had been suffering from a heart condition for some time.
John Harcourt du Preez, always known as Jackie, was one of the many Zimbabweans to play for South Africa under the banner of the South African Cricket Association in his country’s pre-independence days.
Part of a rare breed of leg-spinners in South African domestic cricket in the 1960s, he was also a good enough batsman to be regarded as a genuine all-rounder and he represented South Africa in the final two Test matches against Australia in the 1966-67 season. He was also an outstanding fielder and combined with Eddie Barlow in a boundary edge double play to run out Bill Lawry before the Australian opening batsman had faced a ball in the final Test match of that series at St. George’s Park.
In addition to his two Test matches that season he also had the outstanding return of 6/95 in 32 overs in the three-day tour match between Australia and Rhodesia which played a major role in his Test match selection.
In a first-class career that lasted nearly 20 years he made more than 4 000 first-class runs, including a century, and took 296 wickets, including 11 fifers. He also took 80 catches.
In later years he served as a national selector of Zimbabwe Cricket.
“On behalf of the CSA Family I extend our deepest condolences his family, friends and cricketing colleagues,” commented CSA Acting Chief Executive Dr. Jacques Faul.