Fanie DE VILLIERS - South Africa - Test Profile 1993-98

Photo/Foto: Nigel French

Date: 05 August 1994

Click on image to enlarge

      Right Arm Fast Medium, Right Hand Bat
      Tuesday, 13 October 1964
      Transvaal, South Africa
  • South Africa
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Fanie DE VILLIERS - South Africa - Test Profile 1993-98

 Fanie de Villiers, with his scuttling run-up and slingy action, won one of the greatest Test matches ever. Australia needed just 6 runs for victory at Sydney in 1993-94 when Fanie took a return catch off last man Glenn McGrath. He took 6-43 in that innings and 4-80 in the first, yet it was only his second match. Despite being recognised as one of the best bowlers in South Africa and being a crowd favourite Fanie had been ommitted from the first Test teams on the country's return to international cricket after the apartheid era. Perhaps selectors were influenced by his failure to impress when he joined Kent for a season in the English County Championship in 1990.


He was rarely omitted again until the rise of Shaun Pollock in 1995-96. When Australia played the return series in 1993-94 De Villiers took 4-117 in the Cape Town Test. He toured England in 1994, taking 4-62 at the Oval. When New Zealand came to South Africa in 1994-5 he took 4-52 in the second innings of the Johannesburg Test, 5-64 in Durban and 5-61 in Cape Town. Later, in the one-off Test against Pakistan in Johannesburg he took 6-81 and 4-27. He played briefly in India in the tour that followed England's visit to South Africa in 1995-96, and later turned to a series of fund raising events for charity, including sitting on top of a floodlight tower for the duration of a Test match.


He enlivened 12th man duties on his Australian tour by sending drinks to the middle in a remote-control toy car. The appearance of 'Fanie's car' became a great favourite with crowds, and team-mates found excuses to send it to the middle during intervals when he was playing. (Bob Harragan)