Cricketer-turned-commentator Fanie de Villiers is in the news in connection with the ball tampering saga at Newlands, but for the right reasons. He is said to be the person who tipped off the TV crew about Cameron Bancroft tampering with the ball. So, who exactly is Fanie de Villiers? Do you remember. Here are some interesting facts about him.
Much before AB de Villiers arrived on the scene, South Africa had Fanie who had a reasonably successful international career. A constant feature in a strong South African team of the 90s, Fanie represented South Africa from 1992 to 1998.
In the 1993-94 Test at Sydney, De Villiers grabbed 6 for 43 against Australia as the hosts crumbled chasing 117. De Villiers ended with match figures of 10 for 123.
De Villiers did not bowl in South Africa’s second innings at Adelaide, the next Test, but batted for 198 minutes as nightwatchman, making a resolute 30 even as the Proteas lost.
In the 1994-95 Test against Pakistan in Johannesburg, De Villiers became the first South African to score a fifty as well as take ten wickets in the same Test. He made an unbeaten 66 not out and grabbed 6 for 81 and 4 for 27 with the ball.
De Villiers famously hit England fast bowler Devon Malcolm on the helmet at The Oval in 1994. Malcolm is reported to have told South Africans, ‘You guys are history’, and went on to claim 9 for 57 in South Africa’s second innings, one of the best in history.
In all, de Villiers played 18 Tests and 83 ODIs, claiming 85 and 95 wickets respectively, with impressive averages in the 20s.
In 2003, a biography of De Villiers titled ‘Fanie De Villiers: Portrait of a Test Bowler’ was published by Trevor Chesterfield.