Clive Edward Butler Rice was born in Johannesburg on 23 July 1949. Educated at St John's College he played in that school's XI in 1965 and 1966. In 1969 he made his first-class debut for Transvaal and arrived in England in 1973 as a professional for Ramsbottom.

Rice joined Nottinghamshire as a replacement for the legendary Garry Sobers in 1975 after previously being picked for the 1971-72 South African tour to Australia.

He was relatively unknown when he made his county debut at the start of the 1975 season but quickly made a name for himself, hitting 1,128 runs and taking 53 wickets in the Championship. Rice was also instrumental in pushing the County to 5th place in the Sunday League and a quarter final place in the Gillette.

The South African topped the Championship batting and bowling tables the following season, with a remarkable 246, which included six sixes and 32 fours, made in in 300 minutes, against Sussex at Hove a highlight. 

In 1977 Rice not only repeated the feat of topping both batting and bowling in the Championship but did the same for the Sunday League. The report on the County that summer was quite blunt, `Without Rice, Nottinghamshire cricket would have been a shambles'.

The 1978 season saw the arrival of Richard Hadlee at Trent Bridge and the start of a fruitful ten-year partnership for the club. Rice became captain in July and from 1979 led by example, with Notts winning the championship in 1981 and 'doing the Double' of Championship and One Day Knockout competition in 1987.

When he retired at the close of 1987 his First-Class batting average for Notts was 44.29, from 17,053 runs and that top score of 246; he also took 268 catches.He took 476 FirstClass wickets at 23.58, with a best return of against Worcestershire. In the Sunday League he had the outstanding statistics of 6,265 runs at 42.33 as well as 184 wickets at 22.90.

Rice was named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year for 1981 and was South African Cricketer of the Year four times; he was also judged the best all rounder in English First-Class cricket in 1977, 1979 and 1981 - the latter, of course, the year of Botham's all round exploits in The Ashes, which shows how dominant Rice must have been to get that accolade.

In South African domestic cricket he captained Transvaal to the Currie Cup title - in fact Transvaal won the Currie Cup ten times in 20 years whilst Rice represented the side. He played for South Africa in a number of Unofficial Tests, latterly as captain, and captained South Africa in their first ODI. His first-class cricket continued until 1993-94, his final years being with Natal. 

He returned to Trent Bridge as the newly appointed Cricket Manager in 1999. 

Rice wrung the changes with eight players leaving and Darren Bicknell, John Morris, AJ Harris, and David Millns signing as replacements. A second winter of recruitment was launched and in came Kevin Pietersen, Greg Smith, Richard Logan and Greg Blewett. It seemed to work – seven out of the first eight one-dayers ended in victory. After that the summer went downhill though. The batting was robust but the bowling attack struggled.

The 2002 season started with a series of poor results and the Committee took the drastic action of sacking their former star and promoting then Second Eleven Coach Mick Newell. 

On 28 July 2015, the Club was deeply saddened to announce that Clive had passed away at the age of 66 in Sandton (Gauteng). A minute’s applause was held ahead of the Fourth Investec Ashes Test at Trent Bridge as a mark of respect.


August 2020

Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 472

See Clive Rice's career stats here