Johannesburg: Former England cricketer-turned-commentator, Robin Jackman has been diagnosed with cancer and will undergo seven weeks of radiotherapy following two operations to remove malignant tumours from his vocal cords.
The 67-year-old’s treatment will be followed by four weeks’ rest and he hopes to be back in the commentary box early next year.
“It’s not the prettiest, but I got it early and I’m confident I’ll be fine,” Jackman was quoted as saying in the South African media.
“I won’t be in Australia, but I sure will be rooting for the Proteas,” he added while speaking about the upcoming Australia-South Africa series, which starts on Friday.
Jackman played four Tests and 15 ODIs for England, and was involved with Surrey for 16 seasons, starting from 1966. He took more than 1400 first-class wickets and scored 5681 runs.
He was born in India but grew up in England. Jackman, however, maintained close ties with South Africa, coaching and representing Rhodesia and Western Province over 11 seasons.
Jackman’s diagnosis comes less than a month after another former England cricketer and commentator, Tony Greig, revealed he was being treated for cancer.
Last month, former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe was also diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of cancer.
Perhaps the most famous incident of Jackman’s international career was the cancelling of the Guyana Test in 1980-81, after the Guyana government denied him a visa citing his involvement with the then apartheid South Africa, and the English management chose to not yield to political pressure.
After retirement, Jackman took up media work, and has been a regular television commentator for international matches.