A cricket team full of doctors rushed to help a colleague when he collapsed during a match at the weekend, probably saving his life.

Professor Richard Sainsbury of the Christchurch School of Medicine fell to the ground after bowling an over at the Sydenham Cricket Club on Saturday.

Club president Mike Pearcy told the Press newspaper that a number of doctors from Prof Sainsbury's team "really got stuck in" in an effort to resuscitate their colleague, a highly-respected doctor and academic.

"(They) were working on him and telling him to hang in there. I have never seen anything like it," he said.

Mr Pearcy said it took about 10 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, and if hadn't been for the expert attention he received Prof Sainsbury may not have survived.

"It was a horrible thing... but a tremendous outcome. He hadn't been breathing or had any pulse."

Mr Pearcy had since spoken to Prof Sainsbury, and said it was hoped he would make a full recovery.

Prof Sainsbury has taught geriatric health at the Christchurch School of Medicine for 24 years, and was awarded a gold medal for teaching excellence by the school in 2003.

- NZPA