South Africa’s cricket teams, the Proteas, have long been in the forefront of world cricket. Herewith are a few names that are iconic to South Africa and the world. Hugh Tayfield played from 1949 to 1960 and represented South African Springbok Springboks (later the Proteas) in 37 test matches. He was known as an off-spinner and held the record for the fasted South African to claim 100 wickets in test matches. This record was held until 2008.
Jackie McGlew was the backbone of South African batsmen in the 1950s and excelled at slow scoring. His perfect stroke was criticised by world opinion, but his exact play kept South Africa’s in the match. As vice-captain, his team forced the Australians to a draw in the ’52-’53 series, and he hit a record undefeated 255 against the New Zealanders. In 1956 he was nominated and named as Wisden Cricketer of the Year. He captained South Africa 13 times.
Roy McLean played for South Africa from 1951 to 1964. He faced the ball in 73 tests, scoring 2000 plus runs and was bowled for 0 11 times. He was a middle-order batsman, and his best test score was in England in 1955 when he faced their best bowlers including Fred Trueman and Johnny Wardle and scored 142 runs including 21 fours and 1 six. He was voted the South African Cricketer of the Year in 1955 by the South African Cricket Annual.
Neil Adcock was a right-arm fast bowler, and he played for South Africa in 26 tests. He was the first South African to take 100 wickets. His first test series was in 1953 against New Zealand in South Africa. His best was eight wickets for 87 in the 2nd test. In 1960 against England he took 26 wickets, and by doing this, he was the first bowler to take 100plus wickets in a tour of England.
Trevor Goddard was an all-rounder and played in 41 tests from 1955 to 1970. He was the captain of the Springboks in 1963 and 1964 tests against Australia and New Zealand and captained South Africa against England at home in 1964 to 1965. As a left-hand medium-pace bowler, he took 123 wickets in tests and was amongst the world’s best bowlers with 75plus wickets under their belts, and he achieved this with 1.64 runs per over. He was also a renowned batsman and his success in tests was 11,000 plus terms, an average of 40.6 and in bowling, he took 534 wickets, and his first-class average was 21.65.
Eddie Barlow was an all-rounder and played 30 tests for the Springboks. In 1961 to 1962 he played against New Zealand, and from 1963 to 1964 he was the first South African to score 100 in his first test against Australia and scored 603 runs with a double century. His last test tours in 1970 and 1971 to 1972 were cancelled due to pressure from anti-apartheid protesters.