Garth Le Roux, the South African with the rugged looks of a Hollywood hero, is the newest star in the fast bowling firmament. The Blond, tanned and with the aggressive streak needed in his chosen profession, Garth Le Roux is a typical product of the modern cricket world. His ebullient personality is mirrored the way he plays to the crowd. He sees himself as an entertainer, some-thing that made him one of the most popular players in Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket last winter.
Despite the exuberant exterior, Garth Le Roux is no frivolous night-clubber. At 24, he has degrees in physical education and geography and tackles life and cricket with an impressive maturity. Only son of a master seaman, Le Roux was born in Cape town on September 9, 1955. He had youthful ambitions as a batsman but developed into a hostile bowler at Wynberg High School before serving for a year in the army. It was while at Stellenbosch University that the six-feet-three-inch Le Roux made his initial impact in senior cricket, appearing for Western Province in the 1975-76 season.
Garth Le Roux played a significant part in Western Province’s 1977-78 Currie Cup win, establishing a state record with 53 wickets at an average cost of 14.58. He had already taken his first tentative steps towards a career in English county cricket, playing for Derbyshire ll in 1977. The breakthrough came when Tony Greig took him under his wing.
Tony Greig – like South African Test legend Graeme Pollock – was quick to recognize Le Roux’s potential and persuaded Sussex to play him against New Zealand last year. He impressed many English observers – but his ambitions in county cricket were temporarily shelved when he became the sensation of World Series Cricket.
Garth Le Roux was Packer’s Man of the Series, becoming an instant celebrity with a vociferous female following. Now the archetypal Golden Boy is carving his own niche in this country. In July he signed a contract with Sussex. Clearly, Le Roux is going to be around for some time.