Wednesday, May 29, 2024

CWI: Tribute to Mr Goolam Rajah – Outstanding servant of the game of cricket

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Photo Credit: Cricket West Indies

Goolam Rajah, one of the legendary figures of the post-unity period of South African cricket, passed away this morning. He was 74 years old. Rajah served first as team manager and then logistics manager of the South Africa men’s cricket team for close on two decades.

At the time of unity, he served on the inaugural Gauteng Cricket Board and was also a senior provincial selector and was co-opted on to the Transvaal Cricket Board executive at the time of the unity negotiations. To the Proteas he was much more than part of the management team. He was a friend, confidant and adviser. In total, 107 players represented the Proteas during his time in more than 600 matches across the three formats. They will all remember him with great fondness and gratitude.

Ricky Skerritt, President of Cricket West Indies, paid tribute:

“Goolam Rajah was an untiring and most dedicated South African cricket team manager. He became my personal friend while I managed the West Indies team in the early 2000s. As the longest-serving professional team manager in world cricket, Goolam was always generous with his advice.”

“I enjoyed a most wonderful evening at his family home during our tour to South Africa in 2003, and also had the privilege of hosting him in St Kitts, four years later, during the 2007 ICC CWC. I extend deepest condolences to Goolam’s family, at this challenging time of his loss.”

Graeme Smith, the former South Africa captain and now Director of Cricket of Cricket South Africa also paid tribute.

“Goolam was a true father figure who looked after the players like his own. He took care of everything with such detail that the players were able to focus totally on the cricket and that was why his tenure was so successful. The players were particularly appreciative of the way he looked after their wives and partners on away tours. We will indeed be fortunate to see his like again.”

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