Former South Africa spinner and Zimbabwe selector, John Harcourt du Preez has died at the age of 77 after prolonged illness.
In a media release, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said du Preez, fondly known has Jackie, passed away on Wednesday in Harare, Zimbabwe. He had been suffering from a heart condition for some time.He 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. "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.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 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.