Saturday, 19 November 2011
Dispite his undoubted talents he was left out of the touring party under the pretext that his bowling would not be effective in his native country. South African cricket officials, realising that the inclusion of D'Oliveira would lead to the cancellation of the tour and probable exclusion from Test cricket, exerted pressure on the MCC hierarchy and the decision not to pick him was felt by opponents of apartheid to be a way of keeping cricket links with South Africa open
.There was dissent in the press . But too many it was Doolys treatment by the MCC which brought out the worst in the people running English cricket, and made us confront the appalling reality of Apartheid and all but the MCC ducked the issue and if my memory serves me led a particularly strong denouncement from BBC presenter David Coleman of the MCC cowidice live on air
In the to this course of events and when Warwickshire's Tom Cartwright was ruled out because of injury, D'Oliveira was called up into the squad.] South African prime minister B. J. Vorster had already made it clear that D'Oliveira's inclusion was not acceptable, and despite many negotiations the tour was cancelled. seen as a watershed in the sporting boycott of apartheid South Africa.
The D'Oliveria Afffair perhaps opened many more eyes to apartheid and was instrumental in the Gleneagles Agreement which led to the sporting and cultural boycott of South Africa so he indirectly played a huge part in the dismantling of apartheid which had forced him to play cricket in another country.
I was a 15 year Schoolboy at the time and the affair was an important part in my education as the idea that a man should be excluded from anything because of his colour was abhorrent and a year later saw me taking part first demonstrations against the 1969 springbok tour in which my parents backed all the way.
The case of Basil D' Oliveria showed and still does that you cannot exclude politics from sport and the recent events in football and the comments of Sepp Blatter shows we must ever vigilant in opposing discrimination and racism. where ever it appears