Former Eastern Province cricket great Neville “Armpie” Francis has died.
The news of Francis' death was confirmed by Cricket SA (CSA) on Thursday. He died at the age of 81 on Wednesday after a lengthy illness.
According to CSA, Francis, a batting all-rounder, made his provincial debut when he was 19. He went on to become a captain and one of the integral players of his generation in a 1960s and 1970s era that also included the likes of Basil D‘Oliveira, whom Francis captained in the SA Cricket Board of Control structures.
In the 22 statistically recorded First Class matches Francis played, the left-hander scored 1,225 runs, including four centuries and four half-centuries, and a highest score of 118 not out, while taking nine wickets and the best figures of 3-14.
CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki said Francis will be sorely missed by the cricketing fraternity.