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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Basil D'Oliveira, hero of anti-apartheid, RIP (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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This bloke was a legend. He was a "coloured" South-African, banned from playing cricket for South Africa. He moved to England, worked his way up through the ranks (as was required at the time), from Local, to County, to International. He became naturalised, and played cricket for England in the 1960's.


England had a tour scheduled for South Africa. The South African government said that if Dolly (his nickname) was picked, then the tour would be cancelled. The English government (to our eternal shame) capitulated. They dropped him like lead.

Then, at the eleventh hour, one of the chosen squad dropped out with an "injury". It has never been explicit whether it was a real injury or not. Dolly was picked, South Africa cancelled the tour, and a sporting boycott was brought about.

Basil D'Oliveira played his best cricket on bumpy pitches, in black and mixed race matches, possibly the better cricket in SA at the time. Before playing for England, he captained a 'black' national team, on tours to countries who were prepared to receive them. By all accounts, he was a genius with the bat, and a fair hand with the ball. He was regarded in South Africa, as the most talented player of his generation. Yet he had to watch others play test matches, efeectibely caged in a "native" enclosure. Only after the fall of apartheid did he ever step onto an international pitch in SA, in an opening ceremony, years after he had passed his playing days.

What a ******* waste that was. But his life was not wasted.

Bless you Basil D'Oliveira. Rest in peace.

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It really is a pity he never got to play for the country of his birth. Unfortunately, now we have Kevin Pieterson and Andrew Strauss and Bell in the reversed position albeit it not due to some politics.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Basil D'Oliveira, hero of anti-apartheid, RIP (0 Likes)
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