Fanie de Villiers
Fanie "Vinnige Fanie" de Villiers was born on October 13th 1964 in Vereeniging, matriculating from Sasolburg.
He went on to establish himself as a South African sports hero with his match-winning performance against Australia in Sydney in 1993/94 when he took 6/43 in the second innings to send Australia tumbling to 111 all out when they had needed only 117 to win. It was his second Test match, and remarkably he had to wait until after his 29th birthday before making his test debut, despite proving himself an accurate and competitive fast-medium bowler in limited overs internationals.
Overcoming adversity has long been a feature of Fanie's career. Despite having grown up in Vereeniging away from the traditional school cricket structures that have moulded so many national players, he bowled his way into the Northern Transvaal team while training as a teacher in Pretoria.
He played against Mike Gatting's English team in 1989/90 and was a strong candidate for the world cup team in 1992 but was struck down by injury and had to wait until the 1992/93 limited overs internationals against India to make his debut for South Africa. Having made his breakthrough into Test cricket, Fanie became a fixture in the side. He took 36 wickets in 5 tests in 1994/95, including 5-wicket hauls in 3 successive tests. The sequence included the one-off Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers where Fanie made a dashing 66 not out and had match figures of 10/108. He missed most of the 1995/96 season because of injury.
Fanie retired from International cricket in mid 1998 and now, amongst many other projects, commentates on television and delivers light-hearted after dinner talks for which is highly sought after, as well as acting as MC for all manner of functions and golf days.