Cricket South Africa on Sunday paid tribute to former South African fast bowler Neil Adcock who passed away at the age of 81 at Howick, KZN, from pneumonia. He had been suffering from cancer for a long period of time.
He represented South Africa in 26 Test matches between 1953 and 1962 against New Zealand, England and Australia and took 104 wickets at an average of 21.10. Together with Peter Heine he formed South Africa's first great new ball attack.
Wisden's Cricket Almanack honoured him as one of their five Cricketers of the Year in 1961 following the Test series in England in 1960 during which he took 26 wickets at an average of 22.52.
"Neil was one of the great fast bowlers during what was truly a golden era of fast bowling," commented CSA Acting CEO Jacques Faul. "At that time England had Trueman, Statham and Tyson; Australia had Lindwall, Miller and Davidson; and the West Indies had Hall and Gilchrist. Neil was right up with the best of them.
"On behalf of the CSA family and fans around the country I extend our condolences to his wife, Maureen, his family and friends."
During his career Adcock generated tremendous pace and bounce which made him a very awkward customer for even the best opening batsmen to handle. He was plucked from the obscurity of the Jeppe Old Boys' third team by another South African international, Eric Rowan, and never looked back.
At the completion of his playing career he became a respected voice of SABC's radio commentary team.