The Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) on Monday learned with shock and sadness of the sudden passing of Michael Doman, a former cricketer of the Western Province Cricket Board (WPCB) and long-time cricket reporter of the Cape Argus.

Doman was regarded as the ultimate gentleman not only within the spheres of cricket and journalism but in all aspects of life as all those who crossed his path will readily attest to.

Mogamad Ali, author of the cricket publication More than a game, said he had known Doman since first enrolling at Athlone High School in 1976. “I can honestly say during that time I’ve never heard him swear or raise his voice,” he added.

Together with his cousin Edward Harris and Daryll Roelf they formed a formidable top-order at Athlone High and it came as no surprise when all three gained selection to the SA Senior Schools Sports Association (SASSSA) national teams between 1977 and 1979 with Daryll being appointed captain in 1979 and Michael vice-captain to Gerald Majola in 1978.

He was also a top athlete, winning provincial colours in shot put.

Born on 25 January 1961, Michael, a talented right-hand top-order batsman, became the youngest player to be selected to the WPCB senior team when he made his debut against Eastern Province on 11 February 1978 at the age of 17 years and 17 days.

That was no mean feat considering that he would be playing alongside highly experienced campaigners like Lefty Adams, the Magiet brothers Rushdi and Saait, Braima Isaacs George van Oordt, Charlie van Schalkwyk and Armien Jabaar.

He was a key member of the Victoria team that included top-players like Rashaad Musson, Eddie Harris, Johnny Kleinveldt, Vincent Barnes, Keith Lombard and Charlie van Schalkwyk, that won the WPCB league title in 1980-81.

Michael was also a useful leg break bowler but his promising career was cut short by a serious back injury while he was only in his mid-20s.

He was for many years the cricket correspondent of the Argus before moving up into the position of sports editor a few years ago, Ali said.

“We wish to express our sincere condolences with Michael’s wife, Lorelle, his eldest son, Luke, and twin boys, Jannie and Liam,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the WPCA.

“He served the game with distinction for almost a decade-long representation of Western Province while also reaching a new legion of fans in the role of journalist. His insights and talent endeared him to a large group of cricket supporters who was aware of his exploits in the middle. He will be sorely missed.”

“Phlegmatic, selfless, humble and brilliant are some of the words that spring to mind when I reflect on the career of Doman in front of the stumps and behind a lap top. He was one of the most beloved gentleman the sport of cricket locally had known, He had few enemies and many people admired his skills,” said Beresford Williams, President of the WPCA.