Percy Sonn, president of the International Cricket Council (ICC), is critically ill and under observation in a hospital near Cape Town.
Sonn underwent routine surgery for a reported colon problem at a clinic in Durbanville near Cape Town on May 14 and developed complications on Monday, following which he was shifted to the ICU.
“Mr Sonn is under intensive care and is heavily sedated. His condition is being monitored on a regular basis,” George Hector, Sonn’s personal assistant, told the Hindustan Times on Tuesday. “One cannot say at this point of time how much time he would need to recover. We hope that Mr Sonn, true to his fighting spirit, will emerge from this safe.”
Hector refused to divulge details about what caused the complications. Asked why Sonn underwent surgery, Hector replied, “His family would prefer such details to remain undisclosed.”
The ICC, however, indicated that it might be a colon problem. “He had been having a persistent bowel complaint and was aware that surgery would be needed,” ICC spokesman Brian Murgatroyd said.
A cricket website on Tuesday suggested that Sonn’s absence from the West Indies for a large part of the World Cup could have been due to his poor health. However, Hector denied that. “Mr. Sonn could be described as being as fit as a fiddle. He had absolutely no health problems before this.”
Sonn, 57, is a former president of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCB). He succeeded Pakistan’s Ehsan Mani as the ICC top boss in June last year.
BCCI president Sharad Pawar was aware of Sonn’s scheduled surgery, officials in Pawar’s office said. They said he had sent a get well soon message to Sonn earlier but they were not aware of the complications that arose after the surgery.
Pawar, incidentally, is considered a favourite to take over as the ICC president when Sonn’s term expires in 2008.