WP mourns passing of business icon, Uitsig-owner and former swing bowler McKay

The Western Province cricket family on Monday mourned the passing of the well-known businessman and former Western Province opening bowler David McKay at the age of 72.

McKay was a superb swing bowler in the mould of Eddie Barlow who played for Western Province from 1966/67 to 1973/1974. Later, he had an association with the province as joint owner of Constantia Uitsig and hosted many matches at the iconic ground, some of which involved the Western Province Colt team.

Teams from England, like Yorkshire, often played preseason-matches at the Uitsig-ground and hired the beautiful venue from this well-known cricket fanatic and hugely respected business owner.

McKay was born in De Aar and represented Western Province during the early reign of Barlow, who transformed Western Province from a team in the B-section to a Currie Cup-winning domestic force.

“I was convenor of selectors when Dave played for Western Province. He was a big bloke and he opened the bowling for Province. He could swing it both ways through the air, almost like Stephen Jefferies, but he was not as quick as Stephen,” remembered Fritz Bing, a former Western Province president and chairman of selectors during the era in which McKay played.

“Maybe you could compare his bowling speed to that of Barlow.”

“As a batsman he could really hammer the ball. He was a good catcher if the ball came straight at him, because he was a bit cumbersome. He had fingers like bananas,” remembered Bing.

McKay captured 49 wickets for Western Province, including a career-best innings-haul of 8-76.

His highest contribution with the blade was 82 for Province.

“As a franchise, we want to share our sincere condolences with the colleagues, friends and family of Mr McKay. We honour his contribution to Western Province in spearheading the attack of the province in a transitional phase of its existence under the expert guardianship of Bunter Barlow,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Western Province Cricket Association.

“We are also grateful for the opportunities our young cricketers had to be exposed to a different cricket experience at the great Constantia Uitsig-venue,” Dien added.

Dien does not forgot the generosity of McKay when as youth and amateur manager he freely allowed the academy and visiting youth sides to play at the famous Uitsig Oval.