Aron “Ali” Bacher (born 24 May 1942 in Johannesburg) is an administrator of the United Cricket Board of South Africa. He was born to Lithuanian-Jewish parents who emigrated to South Africa and got his nickname “Ali” at the age of seven from Ali Baba. Ali married Shira Teeger, and they have two daughters and one son.
Ali started playing cricket while at school and represented Transvaal at the age of 17. He played in 12 Tests for South Africa, three against England and nine against Australia; he was captain in the last four. In a first-class match for Transvaal against the visiting Australian cricket team in 1966/67, he made a high score of 235 in the second innings. He captained the national team in only one series: in 1969/70 against Australia at home in which the South Africans won all the Tests in the four match series.
He studied at the University of the Witwatersrand and became a general practitioner. In 1981 he had heart bypass surgery.
His greatest legacy is that of a cricket administrator who organized the International rebel tours in the early 1980s while South Africa was isolated from the rest of the cricketing world due to sanctions imposed due to the apartheid regime. But Bacher saw the post-Mandela writing on the wall and reinvented himself as South Africa’s cricket supremo when the previously separate black and white associations combined to set up the United Cricket Board. Bacher’s reward came when his country marched back onto the international scene at the 1992 World Cup. He remained at the helm for the best part of a decade, before stepping aside to lead the organization of the 2003 Cricket World Cup.