Peter Roebuck 1956-2011

I got up this morning to see the sad news that Peter Roebuck had died late last night. I’m not going to go into the reasons why he might have killed himself, that is for another day, and there is clearly a lot more to come out with regard to the circumstances leading up to his suicide.

There is a couple of points that have struck me today reading all the tributes to Roebuck. One is the exceptional high regard he was held in as a journalist, the other being that people seemed to think he was a complex character who was hard to understand.

Roebuck first came to my attention during the controversy surrounding Somerset’s decision to replace Viv Richards and Joel Garner as the counties overseas players, and the subsequent falling out with Ian Botham.

I remember as a youngster obsessed with the likes of Botham and Richards been amazed by Roebuck’s actions , ignorant of the bigger picture.

Some years later when I was old enough to fully understand what had really happened and why it had happened, I soon came to realise that Roebuck was in fact a strong man who wasn’t afraid to make decisions that weren’t popular with the masses.

He wasn’t afraid to stand alone with his views and his actions, and this was a trait that stuck with him throughout his career in cricket and journalism. People like that are few and far between these days.