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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
SA pioneer Mackerdhuj dies
Krish Mackerdhuj, the first non-white president of South Africa's cricket board has died at the age of 64.

Mackerdhuj, who suffered a heart attack on Wednesday, played a key role in uniting the game after Apartheid laws were repealed in the early 1990s.

"His is a very sad loss," said cricket board chief executive Gerald Majola.

He did not fail us in leading a unified cricket board and affording all South Africans the opportunity to represent their country."

Mackerdhuj, who was born in Durban in 1939, watched cricket at Kingsmead as a boy but later boycotted matches in protest at racism and injustices.

He was president of the South African Cricket Board, which represented black players unable to play first-class cricket, from 1984 until 1991.

In 1987, he lobbied the International Cricket Council at Lord's to ensure South Africa were prevented from playing Test cricket until the abolition of apartheid.

He was president of the UCB from 1992 to 1998 and returned to Lords' in 1994 to watch South Africa beat England for the first time at the historic venue.

He subsequently became South Africa's ambassador to Japan until the end of 2003.

"Krish was a personable, gentle and civilized person," said Percy Sonn, his successor as UCB president.

"He treated people with respect. He was not arrogant and he got to people's hearts and I was personally very close to him. This is a very sad day."

Ali Bacher, who preceded Mackerdhuj as UCB president, described him as a "champion for non-racial sport and cricket" and an "outstanding ambassador for South African cricket".

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