27 March 2014
Ashwell Prince, the first black man to captain South Africa’s national cricket team, announced his retirement from the game on Wednesday. He played 66 tests and 52 one-day internationals for the Proteas.
Prince’s career in South Africa has ended, but he will play another season of county cricket with Lancashire in the winter before returning to Port Elizabeth, where he is aiming to open a football academy.
He made history in July and August of 2006 when he captained South Africa on a tour of Sri Lanka after regular skipper Graeme Smith withdrew before the team’s departure because of torn ankle ligaments.
A nuggety left-hander, Prince made his test debut against Australia at the Wanderers in February 2002. The Aussies hung a massive defeat by an innings and 360 runs on the Proteas in that game. However, Prince, batting at number three, scored 49 in South Africa’s first innings – the highest Proteas’ score of the match – and followed that up with 28 to be the second-highest run scorer for the home side.
His test career finally ended in December 2011 against Sri Lanka in Durban. He had begun it batting at number three, but also served as an opener, and mostly as a middle-order batsman.
Ranked tenth in the world
Prince was ranked as high as tenth in the world among test batsmen in January 2007.
During his test career, he totalled 3 665 runs at an average of 41.64, striking 11 centuries and 11 fifties, with a highest score of 162 not out.
He tallied 1 018 runs in one-day internationals at an average of 35.10, with a best of 89 not out.
Prince claimed only one test wicket, but it was a good one, that of New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming, whom he bowled at Newlands in Cape Town after Fleming had scored a career best 262. Prince’s return that day in April 2006 was 1 for 2 in two overs.
First class career
During his first-class career, he accumulated 15 801 runs at 43.29, with 37 centuries and 82 fifties. He also scored 5 911 runs in 250 List A matches, with three centuries and 31 fifties. In addition, he claimed 348 catches in domestic cricket.
‘The ultimate Warrior’
At a dinner in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday evening, Warriors coach Piet Botha called Prince “the ultimate Warrior”, saying his passion on and off the field had had a positive effect on the team, and that he had played a vital role in the success of the franchise over the past six years.
“I am looking forward to a new phase in my life and am very grateful for the opportunities that cricket has afforded me,” Prince said.
“I am thankful that I have had a wonderful career from a sport that I love, and thank everyone that has been involved in any way over the past 19 years of my career.”