CSA pays tribute to ‘Coetie’ Neethling


Cricket South Africa has paid tribute to JJ 'Coetie' Neethling who sadly passed away in Cape Town on Wednesday, aged 82.

Neethling was one of many outstanding all-rounders to come out of the ranks of the South African Cricket Board of Control (SACBOC) in the 1950s.

He represented SACBOC on the pioneer tour to East Africa and played in all three unofficial Tests against Kenya and East Africa in the 1958-59 season.

It was his successes on this tour that brought him to the notice of the Colne club in the Lancashire League and they employed him for two years as their overseas professional in 1962 and 1963, where he scored 700 runs and took 150 wickets.

His best performance was to score an unbeaten 50 and then take 9/45 against Church. He would have had all 10 but for the fact that the opposition professional, the great West Indies fast bowler, Wes Hall, was dropped on the boundary.

He was a star performer for the SA Coloured Cricket Association (SACCA) side in the late 1950s and later for the Western Province Board team once SACBOC had unified all the different ethnic bodies into one home.

By the time the WP Board started to play first-class matches in 1971 he was nearly 40 years old but he still managed to play 13 first-class matches between 1971 and 1974.

He was also an outstanding soccer player before he decided to concentrate on cricket. In his professional life he was a highly respected teacher at Bishop Lavis High School.

CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat said: "Coetie belonged to the golden era of South Africa's disadvantaged cricketers. The standard of play was as good as their White counterparts and the SACCA side of 1958 that won the Dadabhay Trophy that year was as good as any team in the country.

"Apart from Coetie, it also included Laam Raziet, Basil Witten, Basil d'Oliveira, Sidney Solomon and Owen Williams.

"Like many, many others Coetie was denied the opportunity to play at the highest level by forces beyond his control. On behalf of the CSA Family I extend deepest sympathy to his family, his friends and his sporting colleagues.