Ex cricketer Peter Roebuck’s death by suicide probed by police
POLICE are investigating the death of former Somerset cricket captain Peter Roebuck who has been found dead aged 55.
The ex-player was discovered on Saturday night in a hotel in Newlands, South Africa, where he was covering Australia's Test series for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, who confirmed the news.
Captain Frederick van Wyk of Cape Town police said: "An incident occurred last night at about 9.15pm at a hotel in Claremont where a 55-year-old British citizen, who worked as an Australian commentator, committed suicide."
ABC Grandstand manager Craig Norenbergs described it as "incredibly sad news", adding: "He was an integral part of the Grandstand commentary team, apart from being a magnificent print journalist.
"For us he could describe a game of cricket in such a way that, even if you didn't like the game, you liked the way that he went about his business."
Roebuck, who was born in Oxford, captained Somerset and opened the batting for much of the 1980s and passed 1,000 runs nine times in 12 seasons.
Since moving to Australia and South Africa following his retirement, Roebuck became a respected columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Cricinfo alongside his commentary duties.
In a statement released by Cricket Australia, the governing body's chief executive officer James Sutherland paid tribute to Roebuck.
"Peter was a familiar face around Australian cricket who had been with the team only hours before his sudden death," he said.
"He brought particular insight to his commentary based on his lengthy experience as a first-class cricketer and captain, and combined that with a singular flair for the written and spoken word.
"He spoke his mind frankly and while one didn't necessarily always have to agree, you always respected what he had to say."
Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola also paid his respects in a statement.
"CSA has lost a good friend," he said.
"He was a fierce critic of South African cricket in the unhappy days of the rebel tours but he made a personal tour of South Africa after the completion of the unity process and the establishment of the United Cricket Board of South Africa.
"Peter had homes in both South Africa and Australia and he had a tremendous passion for the emergence of a Proteas team that would accurately reflect the demographics of our country and be truly representative of all South Africans.
"In that way he shared CSA's vision for cricket in this country.
"He was a fiercely independent critic but one who always endeavoured to serve the best interests of cricket and he set a new standard for cricket columnists around the world.
"On behalf of the CSA family I extend our condolences to his family and friends. We will all miss his contribution to the game."
Guy Lavender, the chief executive of Somerset CCC, said: "We extend our sincere condolences to all Peter's family and friends."