AB de Villiers, also known as “Mr. 360” and “Superman,” has captained the South African cricket team in Tests, ODIs, and T20s. Named the ICC ODI Player of the Year thrice, the Wisden "cricketer of the decade" is a devout Christian, has written an autobiography, and released a pop album.
One of the best ODI bastmen in the world, South African cricketer Hashim Amla has made many records, from being the fastest to reach 20 ODI centuries to being the fourth player to score centuries against all Test-playing nations. He was also the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2013.
The son of a mine worker, South African fast bowler Dale Steyn is known for his mercurial on-field persona and for his swing and speed. He has many accolades to his credit, such as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year. He also topped the ICC Test rankings for 263 weeks.
One of the best all-rounders the world has ever seen, South African cricketer Jacques Kallis was known for his signature cover drive throughout his career. He remains the only cricketer to score over 10,000 runs and take more than 250 wickets in both ODI and Test cricket.
Faf du Plessis is a South African cricketer who captained the national team in the ODI format from 2013 to 2019. He has also captained the national team in the other two formats of the game. He became the first South African player to score centuries in ODI, T20, and Test cricket after he scored his first T20I century in 2015.
Born to a South African father and an English mother, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen still holds the record for being the fastest to make 2,000 ODI runs. Named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year, he was also nicknamed “shining” once, for his phenomenal contribution to the England team.
Hansie Cronje was a South African international cricketer. He captained the South African national cricket team in the 1990s. In 2000, he was implicated in a cricket match-fixing scandal and banned from the sport for life. He died in a plane crash in 2002. It was rumored that he was murdered on the orders of a cricket betting syndicate.
The first six-time CSA award winner, South African cricketer Kagiso Rabada also became the eighth Proteas bowler to take 200 Test wickets, beating the likes of Allan Donald. He has, however, often been seen breaking ICC rules on the field and was also in trouble once for shouldering Steven Smith.
Allan Donald is a South African former cricket player best known for his fast-paced deliveries that earned him the nickname White Lightning. Regarded as one of South Africa's most successful fast bowlers, Donald was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019. After retiring from international cricket, Donald has focused on establishing himself as a coach.
South African former cricketer Graeme Smith was once nicknamed Biff for often smashing the leather off the cricket balls. At 22, he was the youngest captain of his national cricket team. He was also known for his legendary opening partnerships with Herschelle Gibbs. Post-retirement, he works as a commentator.
Born into a family of renowned cricketers, Shaun Pollock was the son of Peter Pollock and the nephew of Graeme Pollock. One of the best medium pace bowlers of South Africa, he was pushed into captaincy when Hansie Cronje got entangled in a match-fixing scandal in 2000.
Imran Tahir is a professional cricketer who represents the South African national team. In 2016, he became the fastest South African bowler to reach 100 wickets in the ODI format. In 2018, he became only the fourth South African bowler to take a hat-trick in ODIs. Tahir is currently South Africa’s highest wicket-taker in ODIs and T20Is among spin bowlers.
Herschelle Gibbs is a South African former cricketer who became the first player to hit six consecutive sixes in one over in One Day International cricket. Apart from his batting exploits, Gibbs was also known for his superlative fielding. After retiring from the game, he is into the coaching now.
A person who redefined fielding in cricket, by bringing it to the forefront, South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes first gained attention when he flung himself to run-out Pakistani cricketer Inzamam-Ul-Haq in a 1992 World Cup game. He worked with Standard Bank and then coached the national team post-retirement.
One of the finest wicket-keeper batsmen of all time, South African cricketer Mark Boucher has also supported Graeme Smith as South Africa’s vice-captain. In 2012, while playing a practice game in England, he was hit in the eye by a ball and was operated upon. He quit cricket the next day.
South African former cricketer Gary Kirsten was known for his composure on the field. As the coach of the Indian national cricket team later, he led the team to their historic 2011 Cricket World Cup win, one that came after 28 years. He has also coached the South African team.
South African-Australian cricketer Morné Morkel is one of the best fast bowlers of his time. He is the younger brother of cricketer Albie Morkel, and in 2008, he and Albie became the first brother duo to be named the South African Cricket Annual Cricketers of the Year in 56 years.
JP Duminy is a South African former cricket player who served as the vice-captain of the national Twenty20 team. In 2008, he played a major role in helping his national team win their first Test series in Australia against Australia. After retiring from all formats of the game in 2019, JP Duminy started working as a cricket commentator.
South African-Australian former cricketer Mickey Arthur played for Free State, Griqualand West, and South Africa A before starting his coaching career with Griqualand West. He has coached the Pakistani, Australian, and South African national teams and now serves as the head coach of the Sri Lankan national team.
Popularly known as Zulu, South African former cricketer Lance Klusener was an all-rounder. He was named the Player of the Series in the 1999 World Cup. Taking up the role of coach later, he worked with the South African and Afghanistan national cricket teams, and was the Dolphins head coach.
Makhaya Ntini became the first Xhosa player to be part of the South African national cricket team. Initially a cowherd in a tiny village in Cape Province, he bowled bare-foot and was scouted by a Boland Cricket Board officer. Though convicted of rape in 1999, he was acquitted later.
Temba Bavuma is the current captain of the South African ODI and T20 national teams and a talented right-handed batsman. Initially mentored by Geoffrey Toyana, he was signed up by the Lions. He is the second from his country to score an ODI debut century.
Vernon Philander is a former South African cricket player best known for his skills as a bowler. He has also played important knocks as a batsman, helping his team get out of difficult situations on several occasions. During his Test career, he played 64 tests and took 224 wickets.
A talented South African all-rounder, Albie Morkel was often likened to Lance Klusener. Born to a cricketer father, it came as no surprise when he chose the game as a career option. However, he never had much of international success and now coaches the Namibian national cricket team.
Kepler Wessels is a South African-Australian former cricket player who has represented South Africa as well as Australia in international cricket. He has also captained the South African national team. Wessels has also played an influential role as a coach, working with popular teams like Chennai Super Kings of the Indian Premier League.
Cricketer Dean Elgar started out well, leading the South African Under-19 World Cup team in 2006, and became the captain of the South African national team in 2021. He is regarded as a pillar for the South African middle order and is known for his stability.
South African cricketer Wayne Parnell started out as a left-arm pacer and is now an all-rounder. Known for his signature delivery, the Bender, he had a successful career in domestic and franchise cricket, but his international career was mostly riddled with injuries. He converted to Islam in 2011.
A powerful batsman, South African cricketer Graeme Pollock was likened to Garry Sobers by legendary cricketer Donald Bradman. Known for his precision of timing as a batsman, he also bowled legspin at times. Born to a cricketer father, he is also the uncle of popular cricketer Shaun Pollock.
Apart from captaining the non-white South African cricket team, Basil D'Oliveira also played football. His inclusion in the England team later led to the boycott of apartheid-ridden South Africa from Test cricket for 22 years, in what is now known as the D'Oliveira Affair. He received honors such as the CBE.
Growing up playing cricket and a variety of other sports, such as tennis and football, Ahmed Amla later made it big in South African cricket just like his younger brother, Hashim Amla. Unlike Hashim, however, he doesn’t sport a beard. He studied business after retiring from cricket.
An aggressive batsman, South African cricketer Farhaan Behardien is also an occasional medium-pace bowler. In 2017, he was named his country’s domestic T20 player of the year. He has also captained his national team in T20 matches. Many liken him to legendary player Jonty Rhodes for his fielding skills.
Cricket coach Paddy Upton made headlines when he revealed in his memoir The Barefoot Coach how he had advised Indian cricketers to have sex before their matches in the World Cup, as a performance-booster. Apart from coaching the 2011 World Cup-winning Indian cricket team, he has also gained several academic degrees.
Fanie de Villiers is a former cricketer who earned 83 ODI caps and 18 Test caps for South Africa. Working as a commentator after his retirement, he played an important role in exposing the 2018 Australian ball-tampering scandal; he was the first person to spot the Australians' underhanded tactics and asked the camera operators to keep tabs on the Australians.
Apart from playing for the Springboks, South African rugby player Nick Mallett has also coached them and the Italian rugby team. He was part of the team that won four back-to-back Currie Cups. He has also coached the Paris club Stade Français but later rejected the offer of coaching Toulon.
Nicknamed Mobil for his generous use of Vaseline to put his unruly hair in place, South African cricketer Norman Gordon lived beyond 100 and was the oldest living Test cricketer before his death. His final Test match, known as the Timeless Test, continued for 10 days and ended in a draw.
Born to a policeman in Zimbabwe, Paul Harris later moved to South Africa with his family. The talented spinner was first noticed by coach Duncan Fletcher, who mentored him. He was also named one of the 40 best players in the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 2007.
Though known for his discipline and concentration, Jackie McGlew was also infamous for some of the slowest Test innings. He became the vice-captain of the South African team at 23. He also penned books such as Cricket for South Africa and advocated for pro-apartheid politics, becoming a National Party candidate.