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May 27, 2007
Cricket mourns sudden death of Percy Sonn

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Dubai, May 27, The cricket world is in mourning following the sudden death of International Cricket Council President Percy Sonn. 57-year old Sonn died in Cape Town following complications from minor colon surgery.His death was announced in a press release issued this afternoon by the International Cricket Council (ICC).Mr Sonn’s tenure was originally due to end next year was extended to 2009 after the Executive Board had a split vote between Indian Cricket Board chief Sharad Pawar and ECB head David Morgan last year.

Leading figures from the world of cricket paid tribute to Mr Sonn including Presidential predecessor Ehsan Mani who said: "As a cricket administrator and a man, Percy Sonn was a giant. In all the circles in which he moved, he commanded a huge amount of respect and that was never more obvious than when he was in an ICC Board meeting.

"Percy never spoke for the sake of it but when he did speak people listened. He was one of the most intelligent men I have ever met and cricket will be much the poorer for his passing.

"It is a tragedy that he was only able to fill the role of ICC President for one year. I have lost a great personal friend and my thoughts are with his wife Sandra, his brothers and sisters and his three children."ICC World Cup winning Australia captain Ricky Ponting said: "I will always associate Percy with one of the happiest moments of my career as he was the man who handed over the Cricket World Cup trophy to the Australia team at the end of the tournament in Barbados last month."He and his wife then flew with us back from Barbados to London where we went our separate ways and to think he is no longer with us less than a month later is a huge shock."I am shocked and saddened to hear this news and first and foremost my thoughts are with Percy's family and friends."I have been told of his lifetime of service to the game in what, for many years, must have been difficult circumstances in South Africa. Cricket obviously owes him a huge debt of thanks."ICC CEO Malcolm Speed: "Percy's mantra was that the game should be inclusive not exclusive; he relished modern cricket's diversity. Percy was never afraid to speak his mind but his great skill, especially in meetings where discord was possible, was to do so in such a way that he got everyone together and pulling in the same direction."Percy was utterly committed to the game at all levels and his mantras were that the game had to be inclusive rather than exclusive and that it had to be played the right way, to be true to the Spirit of Cricket."He relished the fact that this year's ICC Cricket World Cup took place in the Caribbean because the nine countries that hosted the tournament mirrored the game's diversity on a worldwide level, something he saw as a real strength”.Mr Sonn was aware throughout the ICC Cricket World Cup that he would have to undergo surgery.The surgery went ahead with Mr Sonn facing the prospect of further treatment afterwards but following that surgery his condition deteriorated rapidly and he passed away today.Born on September 25, 1949, Percival Henry Frederick Sonn, universally known as Percy, dedicated much of his life to cricket. His career in the game's administration began while he was still a teenager in South Africa, in the midst of the Apartheid regime.He helped with the organization of his club side, Bellville South, and it marked the start of a lifetime's work for the betterment of the game at local, national and international level.Mr Sonn emerged as a leading administrator when he served as Vice-President to Hassan Howa at the Western Province Cricket Board, for nine years from 1974, taking over the role of President of the Board from 1990 to 1992. He then became President of the newly-formed Western Province Cricket Association in 1993. Mr Sonn served as a Vice President of the South African Cricket Board before the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) was formed, played a crucial role in the unity process in 1991, and served as a Management Committee Member of the UCBSA (now CSA) from its inauguration until 2003. He also served as President of the UCBSA for three years until 2003.
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